Podcast category: Business Law

Lawyerist Podcast

#104: Building a Multi-Million Dollar Law Practice, with Greg McEwan


In this episode, we aren’t talking about technology and online marketing, although Greg McEwen knows plenty about both. Instead, we talk with Greg about how he has built a multi-million dollar personal injury firm by taking big risks for big rewards—the “old-fashioned” way.

Greg McEwen has focused his career on complex, high stakes personal injury litigation, and he has recovered in excess of $500 million for clients over the last 20 years.

In-House Legal

State Farm CLO Jeffrey Jackson on Ranging Experience in the Legal Office

In law firms there is often a gap between young, emerging lawyers and seasoned veterans. Jeffrey Jackson, chief legal officer at State Farm, has seen first hand that there are long-term benefits to closing this gap. In this episode of In-House Legal, he talks to host Randy Milch about investing in mentoring programs and building communities in which budding lawyers feel free to ask questions and speak their minds. According to Jeffrey, law professionals who put effort into personal relationships will strengthen their reputation and build trust with their clients while also providing young lawyers a safe space to grow.

Jeffrey Jackson is the chief legal officer at State Farm and has been with the company for more than 28 years. His specialty is in trial law and corporate governance, but in his former role as general counsel, Jackson oversaw all facets of State Farm’s legal department.

On the Road

2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: The International Law Division

In this Special Reports, host Laurence Colletti speaks with The Florida Bar International Law Section Chair Eduardo Palmer about his division, international arbitration, and how the state has become a world center for international law. Eduardo gives a brief history of the division, which was founded in 1981, and shares that they have slightly more than 1000 members. He explains that one of their main areas of focus is streamlining rules, regulations, and legislation in Florida to make the state a major international law center. Gordon then discusses Florida Bar rule 1-3.11, how it has spiked the arbitration work they receive by 200-300%, and how it made Miami the second premiere U.S. location for international arbitration relating to the Americas behind New York City. He closes the interview with an overview of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, the sponsored pre-Vis moot dress rehearsal held in Miami, and his top reasons why attorneys should join the ILS.

Eduardo Palmer is the chair of The Florida Bar International Law Section. He has been a litigator for over 25 years and has work in both the private and public sectors. His practice areas include complex commercial litigation, international litigation and arbitration, and white collar criminal defense. Eduardo has had over 25 jury trials in federal and state court and has argued various times before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit and before several Florida District Courts of Appeal. His litigation experience includes, among others, class actions, securities fraud, large multi-district litigation matters, civil RICO, breach of contract, fraud, intellectual property claims, appeals, money laundering, FCPA, forfeiture, tax and bank fraud.

On the Road

2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Updates in Business Law

At the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Jay Kim, business litigator and member of The Florida Bar board of governors, about the updates in business law in Florida over the past year. Jay points out the overall stability in commercial litigation despite economic climates and how Florida law is pretty friendly toward businesses overall. He goes into the proposal for settlement statute providing for the collection of attorneys’ fees and how it is evolving. Laurence and Jay then shift to discuss the upcoming year. Jay explains how a recent Florida Supreme Court judgement on the way workers’ compensation attorneys’ fees are calculated will likely affect businesses, solo attorneys, and many workers across the state.

Jay Kim is a business litigator and partner at Kim Vaughan Lerner in Fort Lauderdale. His boutique law firm focuses on commercial litigation, employment litigation, and insurance litigation. Jay is a former chair of The Florida Bar Grievance Committee and was recently elected to The Florida Bar board of governors, representing the 17th Judicial Circuit. He presented the business law portion of the “Florida Bar Update.”

In-House Legal

Cybersecurity in Regulated Industries with AMEX GC Laureen Seeger

As a naturally competitive person, Laureen Seeger thrived throughout her career as a litigator. After law school, she clerked and was offered a job in the Atlanta-based law firm of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP. In the South during the 1980s, there were virtually no women in courtrooms and she had to fight hard for first chair privileges. 14 years later, she went in-house and eventually became general counsel at McKesson, a massive healthcare supplies provider. Now she is general counsel of American Express in another highly regulated industry requiring strong cybersecurity measures. So what advice does she have to offer from her experience as GC for these two major companies?

In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Laureen Seeger about her path to AMEX, industry regulation and cybersecurity, and the importance of brand trust. It is important, she says, for small- and medium-sized firms to invest in security measures, which often involves educating staff on encryption and best practices. Seeger discusses the regular audits American Express administers to their third party affiliates, the benefits and downfalls of cyber insurance, and how her department prepares the AMEX board of governors with the cyber security  information they need to govern properly. She explains how cyber breaches can be much more expensive than periodically assessing business environment, putting protections in place, fishing internally for employees that need training, and encrypting information.

Laureen Seeger is executive vice president and general counsel of American Express Company, a position she assumed in July 2014.  As the corporation’s chief legal officer, Seeger oversees the law, government affairs and corporate secretarial functions for American Express and its subsidiaries. Prior to American Express, Ms. Seeger served as executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer of McKesson Corporation and was with the Atlanta law firm of Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP from 1992 to 2000.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

The Latest on the FBI/Apple Legal Battle

The FBI and Apple, Inc. have been immersed in an ongoing legal battle over privacy and security. The legal battle reached a boiling point when the FBI and Apple engaged in a dispute over whether the federal court may compel Apple to create new software that would enable the FBI to unlock an iPhone 5C it recovered from one of the shooters in a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California. So, is this a threat to our data security or will Apple’s assistance to the FBI provide key information needed to prevent future terrorist attacks?

On Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts J. Craig Williams and Bob Ambrogi join David O’Brien, a senior researcher at the Berkman Center and Robert E. Cattanach, a partner with the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney LLP and a former justice department attorney, as they take a look at the latest on the FBI/Apple Legal Battle. They discuss San Bernardino, encryption, privacy, national security, and the future impact of this case.

David O’Brien has contributed legal and policy research to a variety of Berkman Center’s projects, spanning the topics of privacy, cloud computing, copyright, cybersecurity, interoperability, and internet governance. David currently leads the Berkman Center’s efforts in the cybersecurity and the Privacy Tools for Sharing Research Data project.  David also serves on the advisory board for Harvard’s Open Data Assistance Program.

Bob Cattanach has represented numerous clients in breach responses, development of privacy policies and procedures, and provided counsel to corporate boards of directors, and audit committees on matters of cybersecurity, privacy and internal governance. Bob’s long history of interaction with key government agencies began with his service of the United States Department of Justice, Civil Division, which represents the interests of the United States and its agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Departments of State, Defense and Energy. His longstanding relationship with those agencies enables him to engage with key players on major cyber issues, and be the “go-to” attorney for all matters cyber.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

The Digital Edge

The Law is Not Copyrightable: Fastcase Sues Casemaker

Recently, the legal publishing company Fastcase received a takedown notice from the parent company of another publishing company, Casemaker, claiming they had exclusive rights to distribute, for commercial use, the Georgia Administrative Rules and Regulations. Fastcase CEO Ed Walters was surprised by this demand, because public law is not copyrightable. As a response, Ed decided to initiate litigation with Casemaker for the rights to the regulations and also to set a countrywide precedent. But why did Casemaker think they had exclusive rights to these Georgia laws in the first place?

In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Ed Walters about the case, why he thinks keeping public law in the public domain is so important, and the history of law citations, annotations, and publication.

Topics include:

  • The verbiage in Casemaker’s takedown notice to Fastcase
  • Contracts with the Secretary of State of Georgia and other states
  • The importance of having a federal court declare that private publishers can’t own the law
  • The history of laws published with citations, annotations, or editorial enhancements
  • How the digitalization of laws has changed the publishing landscape
  • What happens when a state designates a version of the code as official (even if it was published by a private company like LexisNexis)
  • What will happen next with the Casemaker/Fastcase lawsuit

Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase, a legal publishing company based in Washington D.C. Before working at Fastcase, he was a lawyer at Covington & Burling in Washington D.C. and Brussels. Ed also teaches The Law of Robots at Georgetown University Law Center.

Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNowCloudMask, and Scorpion.

On the Road

ABA Midyear Meeting 2016: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Update Tour

Fenwick & West civil practitioner Laurence Pulgram and Schoeman Updike & Kaufman complex litigator Beth Kaufman stop by to discuss amendments that were made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in this Special Report. In 2010, at a symposium at Duke University, rule amendments to improve civil litigation were proposed and over 2,300 individuals provided input on these changes during the public comments period. On April 29th, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court approved and submitted to Congress the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and these amendments took effect on December 1, 2015. However, many lawyers are not aware of these changes. Beth and Laurence, along with The Digital Edge host Jim Calloway and Thinking Like A Lawyer host Joe Patrice, sit down to discuss some of the changes and best practices to help you save money and expedite managing your case.

Laurence Pulgram is a civil practitioner for Fenwick & West L.L.P. He is chair-elect of the American Bar Association’s Section of Litigation and received his artium baccalaureus from Duke University (summa cum laude). Laurence received his J.D. from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude).

Beth Kaufman is a complex litigator with Schoeman Updike & Kaufman. She was the president of The National Association of Women Lawyers and was its delegate to the ABA House of Delegates. Beth received her bachelor of arts from Queens College-CUNY (magna cum laude) and her J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law.

Digital Detectives

What Law Firms Should Know About the FBI’s InfraGard Program

InfraGard, one of the longest running outreach associations, represents a partnership between the FBI and the private sector. Members include businesses professionals (including many law firm employees), people from academic institutions, and local participants who share their experience and expertise with the FBI to assist in crime prevention. In the recent climate of rampant cyber security issues, many in the private sector are better equipped to fight these cyber threats. So why is it important for lawyers to know about and potentially join InfraGard?

In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview FBI special agent and InfraGard coordinator Kara Sidener about the way InfraGard works and why lawyers and other law firm professionals should be interested in joining this two-way information sharing platform.

Topics include:

  • The evolution of cybercrime
  • The Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the private sector
  • Who joins InfraGard
  • How and why members are vetted
  • Benefits for IT professionals trying to secure law firm networks
  • Staying informed about clients’ intellectual property issues
  • Proactive programming and cross-sector collaboration
  • Free resource to provide info on terrorism and cyber threats

Kara Sidener is a special agent with the FBI and is currently serving as the InfraGard Coordinator for the Washington Field Office (WFO). Her 17 years with the FBI have all been in the Washington, DC area, having had assignments at WFO, FBI Headquarters, and the FBI Academy. Kara has experience in a number of areas including counterintelligence and cyber investigations, evidence response, instruction and training, and private sector outreach. Kara was a member of WFO’s Evidence Response Team and a first responder to the Pentagon on 9/11/01.

In-House Legal

Thomson Reuters’ Deirdre Stanley: Being Interested and Getting Ahead

Despite not being 100% sure of her desired practice area when she graduated from Harvard Law School, Deirdre Stanley, now general counsel of Thomson Reuters, was certain of two things: she wanted to work in business and wanted to do so in New York City.

During her tenure in Biglaw doing mergers and acquisitions, Deirdre found her calling working alongside in-house counsels. She realized that in order to advance, she would need to diversify her experience, so when the opportunity to head business development at USA Network came up, she took it. That off-path experience eventually paved the way for an offer from Thomson Reuters to head their legal department.

In this episode of In-House Legal, host Randy Milch interviews Deirdre Stanley about her path to the top. Together, they discuss her background, pivotal decisions along the way, and how being interested in multiple disciplines is the key to high level positions. Tune in to hear her advice for lawyers in today’s market and about her daily duties to maintain a free press worldwide.

Deirdre Stanley is the executive vice president, general counsel, and board secretary at Thomson Reuters. Prior to her current role, she held various legal and senior executive positions, including deputy general counsel at IAC (previously USA Networks, Inc.). From 1997 to 1999, Deirdre served as associate general counsel for GTE Corporation (a predecessor company to Verizon), where she headed the mergers and acquisitions practice group. She currently serves as a vice chair on the Board of Trustees of the Hospital for Special Surgery and is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations and the Executive Leadership Council.