NAMWOLF Newsletter
A Letter From the Editors...

NAMWOLF Friends -

The 3rd Quarter 2014 NAMWOLF Newsletter is provided below.  Please remember to circulate this email to all the members of your firm. This newsletter is being published in an e-mail friendly format. Click on each of the links below for the full text of the article.

A new column, NAMWOLF News Bites, debuts this issue and features brief highlights from around the NAMWOLF community.  We welcome short submissions (two to three sentences) for future News Bites Columns from the PACs and Committees.  We also invite the PACs and individuals to submit newsletter articles and ideas.  This edition also features Law Firm Spotlights of two new NAMWOLF firms, which each firm wrote about the other.


We want to thank our Newsletter staff: Angela France (PCT Law Group, PLLC, Alexandria, Virginia), Claudia Lechtman (Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, Chatham, NJ), Marquettes Robinson (Thacker Martinsek, Cleveland, OH) and Crystal Vanderputten (The Livingston Law Firm, Walnut Creek, CA) and of course, Jane Kalata (NAMWOLF).  If you are interested in joining our staff, please contact us or seek us out at the upcoming  Annual Conference.  Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions. 



Sonjui L. Kumar

Kumar, Prabhu, Patel & Banerjee, LLC - Atlanta, GA


Jamie Rudman

Sanchez & Amador, LLC - Oakland, CA

Building Relationships at the Law Firm Expo
The 2014 NAMWOLF Law Firm Expo on Monday, September 22 will give in-house counsel the opportunity to meet approximately 120 law firms from 38 states in one place.  To help both inside and outside counsel maximize their time at the Expo, Newsletter Co-Editor Jamie Rudman spoke with NAMWOLF Law Firm Expo veterans Mel Walker of Wells Fargo and Tom Nathan of Comcast Cable. 

Jamie: Why do you attend the Law Firm Expo?

Tom:    The Expo is the highlight of the Conference for me.  When I am at a NAMWOLF event, my priorities are meeting firms and meeting people.  The Law Firm Expo is an excellent opportunity for in-house counsel to meet law firms with a wide variety of practices, experience and geographic diversity in a very convenient way.  In just two to two and a half hours, I can meet many firms from across the country. 

Mel:  The Expo provides an efficient and effective opportunity to interact with NAMWOLF law firms and to learn about them in a way that you cannot do simply by going to their websites.  This is a great chance to ask questions, size people up and get information about what these firms really do.  I go into the Expo thinking about future legal work opportunities as well as ways to establish and maintain relationships with the NAMWOLF attorneys with whom I develop rapport.  It is this process of building a rapport and relationships, along with demonstrated evidence of professional skill and experience,  that can ultimately lead to future business opportunities for NAMWOLF law firms.  (Click here to keep reading)

A Note from the CEO...

I can't believe that our Annual Meeting is coming up in a few weeks in Philadelphia. Since this newsletter has two articles on the Annual Meeting, I won't go into it in any detail except to say that I'm confident it's going to be our best meeting ever thanks to hard work by many including Jane Kalata and the entire NAMWOLF Team, Member Firms, our Advisory Council and so many amazing vendor and in-house legal group sponsors. Just look at the agenda and the amazing line up of speakers and panelists and you can see why I'm so confident (click HERE to download the schedule of events). Thank you all!


I do have a couple of requests of attendees this year and I'll use my newsletter space to convey my requests. First, for in-house counsel attending, I know how busy all of you are (remember, I was in-house for most of my career) but please take the time to visit our now 130 plus Member Firms. To be transparent, we intentionally make it very easy for in-house to attend (i.e., no cost) but in return, we do have an expectation that our in-house attendees will take the time to meet with our Member Firms either formally or informally at the expo and other times so a huge ask of all in-house attendees is to please meet with our firms not only at the expo but throughout the conference. ( Click here to keep reading.)


RVM Enterprises, Inc.

By: Cheryl A. Brunetti, RVM Enterprises, Inc.


Cheryl A. Brunetti is the Executive Chairwoman at RVM Enterprises, Inc., a preferred provider of eDiscovery services and data solutions to leading global financial institutions, corporations and AmLaw100 firms for nearly two decades.


Shrinking budgets, new regulations and an increased demand for services force today's legal, risk and compliance executives to do more with less. RVM remains dedicated to implementing innovation to build better ways to work by creating technologies and workflows to address the ever-changing business models in today's legal and corporate environments.  (Click here to keep reading.)

SpotlightSmithDollarPCSpotlight - Member Firm: Smith Dollar PC

By Kathleen Carter - Hollins Law, APC


Smith Dollar PC is a business litigation firm with deep trial experience. The firm has handled all types of business lawsuits, both defensive and offensive and is able to aggressively litigate and try cases for institutional clients. Smith Dollar provides full service business representation to local and national clients.

In addition, Smith Dollar PC has developed one of the most comprehensive financial services law practices in the nation by bringing together experienced and aggressive attorneys in the business and financial services sectors. Headquartered in California's Wine Country, Smith Dollar PC is one of the only firms north of San Francisco providing litigation and transactional representation to the mortgage banking and financial services industry.

Smith Dollar prides itself on developing close working relationships with its clients. The firm understands that lawsuits are not created in a vacuum and litigators must understand the stage on which the case is set. With that in mind, Smith Dollar seeks to understand its clients' business as well as it understands its own. (Click here to keep reading)

SpotlightHollinsLawSpotlight - Member Firm: Hollins Law, APC

By Rachel Dollar - Smith Dollar PC


Fearless trial advocacy is a great way to describe the litigation approach employed by Hollins Law, a Top 50 Orange County law firm established more than 30 years ago. It is recognized as a preeminent, AV-rated firm.


Led by Kathleen Carter, a leading Southern California litigator and expert in litigation management, Hollins Law provides a wide range of representation in various practice areas, including Business Law and Litigation, Catastrophic Injury, Employment Litigation and Insurance Litigation, among others. However, Hollins Law's practice - no matter the underlying area - leads back to a singularly unique quality few firms possess among today's overcrowded courtrooms: the ability to try cases. (Click here to keep reading)




Come join the Transactional Alliance PAC meeting on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 at 1:55 p.m. at the NAMWOLF Annual Meeting & Law Firm Expo to gain some insightful, useful and helpful tips to assist you with your practice.  Experienced transactional lawyers will be sharing their treasured tips and advice in a variety of practice areas in a fast paced, fun and informative session.  Attendees will receive a handout full of helpful practice tips.  Here are a few sample tips from the pros:

  • Secured Transactions: The Debtor's Name Reflected on the UCC-1 Financing Statement must be absolutely correct.

    In representing lenders or other creditors in secured transactions, the name of the debtor as reflected on the UCC-1 financing statement must be absolutely correct to perfect the security interest of the creditor in the assets of the debtor. Even typographical errors can be fatal flaws.   (Click here to keep reading)


EEOC Issues New Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination

By Nicole Torrado, Associate at Sanchez & Amador, LLP, Oakland, California


For the first time in over 30 years, the EEOC issued Enforcement Guidance regarding pregnancy disability on July 14, 2014.  In general, the Guidance explains Title VII's prohibition against pregnancy discrimination, describes individuals to whom the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) applies and discusses how the expanded definition of "disability" under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) it applies to pregnancy-related impairments.  

Essentially, the Guidance advises employers to apply the same work place accommodation policies, leave of absence policies, medical benefits, and seniority/retirement benefits to all employees, regardless of whether a request for leave of absence, workplace accommodation, or medical benefit is due to a medical condition related to pregnancy or any other disability. The EEOC concedes that pregnancy is not a "disability" under the ADA, but points out that pregnant workers may have impairments related to their pregnancies that qualify as disabilities under the ADA, even thought these disabilities are temporary.   (Click here to keep reading)

California Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers In Arbitration Agreements But Exempts PAGA Representative Actions

Contributed by Miller Law Group (San Francisco and Los Angeles)


The California Supreme Court recently issued its much-anticipated decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC, Case No. S204032, holding that (i) the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts the Discover Bank rule, which restricted enforcement of arbitration agreements containing a waiver of class action proceedings, but (ii) FAA preemption did not extend to representative claims under California's Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA).  Thus, while Iskanian broadly permits enforcement of a class action waiver in an arbitration agreement, it also will motivate plaintiffs' attorneys to routinely add PAGA claims to wage and hour complaints in the hope of limiting the effect of an arbitration provision that bars class claims. (Click here to keep reading)

PatentTrollsPatent Troll's Allegations of Hub-and-Spoke Conspiracy to Monopsonize Market in Violation of Antitrust Laws Survive Motion to Dismiss.

By Barbara P. Berens and Carrie L. Zochert

As Congress and federal agencies turn their attention to minimizing the harmful impact on innovation and competition by patent assertion entities[1] ("PAEs"), or more colloquially, "patent trolls," some manufacturing companies are forming defensive patent aggregators, or "anti-troll" entities to protect their members from baseless infringement claims brought by such patent trolls.  A recent case highlights the potential consequences for defendants who collectively refuse to settle with, or license patents from, a patent troll.


The case, Cascades Computer Innovation, LLC v. RPX Corp., was brought by Cascades, a non-practicing entity ("NPE"), or so-called patent troll, against three manufacturers of Android-compatible devices, HTC Corporation, Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc., and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. [2]  Together the manufacturing defendants allegedly dominate the vast market share of such devices.[3]  Cascades purportedly held exclusive rights to license and enforce a number of patents, including a patent which purports to optimize the use of the Android operating system used in mobile electronic devices manufactured by the defendants.[4] (Click here to keep reading)


Learn How to Master Requests for Proposals at the NAMWOLF Conference

Presented by: The Marketing Best Practices Committee

By Jamie E. Autin, Director of Marketing, Rivero Mestre, LLP, Miami, Florida


It is common knowledge among law firms that requests for proposals ("RFPs") are a necessary evil of legal marketing. The process of completing an RFP can be frustrating and overwhelming. But the NAMWOLF Marketing Best Practices Committee will tell you how to "Keep Calm and Respond On" during its session at the NAMWOLF Annual Meeting this fall. The Committee will cover the process of researching, evaluating, and preparing RFPs while keeping your cool. The presentation will go over responding to formal and informal RFPs, applying principles of good design to make your proposal shine, and streamlining the response process. It will even touch on the increasingly popular use of alternative fee arrangements. If that's not enough, the Committee will provide insight on what impresses in-house counsel and what drives them crazy! (Click here to keep reading)


The New Canadian Anti-Spam Law and What This Means for You and Your Business

By Farah F. Cook, Patrick Law Group

 The legislation that was touted as one of the toughest and most aggressive pieces of anti-spam law is finally here and is changing the way people and businesses in the United States and Canada market and communicate with each other.  If you're sending commercial email messages to people in Canada, there are new rules and you'll need to ensure you have your recipient's express permission to do so.  Otherwise, under the new legislation you or your business will likely face stiff penalties.

The Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation and Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act


Following a long legislative history, Canada passed the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation ("CASL") in December 2010, which became effective on July 1, 2014.  Although CASL's effective date is July 1, 2014; from July 1, 2014 through July 1, 2017, only three Canadian regulating bodies may investigate and litigate against entities or individuals who do not adhere to CASL. However, after July 1, 2017, any individual will also be able to sue any entity or individual they believe is sending messages in violation of the Canadian legislation.  Liability under CASL will range from fines of up to $1 million Canadian dollars for individuals, and up to $10 million Canadian dollars for companies. (Click here to keep reading)

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