June, 2014
NAMWOLF Newsletter
Volume 5 | Issue 3
In This Issue: 


The 2nd 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.


Frequent readers of the newsletter will note that we have added a few new sections, including a Marketing Corner and articles from two of our PACs, Transactional and Labor & Employment. We welcome submissions from all our PACs.


We want to thank our Newsletter staff which has grown in the past few months: 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).


Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions.




Sonjui L. Kumar

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



Jamie Rudman

Sanchez & Amador, LLC - Los Angeles, CA




Hello NAMWOLF Member Firms and In-House Counsel,


It's been an exciting and very busy 90 days as the Chief Executive Officer of NAMWOLF. I thought I would take this time to share with all of you what I have been doing and let you know the progress that we are making.  It's a journey but I will tell you, we are moving in the right direction and making a lot of progress. And, I'm very excited about the future of NAMWOLF and truly appreciate the warm reception that I have received from Member Firms and In-House counsel. From my vantage point, our future growth and success starts with listening to our 121 Member Firms, the corporate legal groups that are both active with NAMWOLF and those that are "on the fence" and the NAMWOLF Team that supports our internal operations and keep this organization running.  (Click to read the rest of the article)
NAMWOLFSuccessStoryNAMWOLF Success Story - Prudential  and Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP
CorporateSpotlightComcastCorporate Spotlight: Comcast Cable Communications, LLC
By Angela France, PCT Law Group, PLLC,   Alexandria, Virginia


Tom Nathan, the Senior Deputy General Counsel for Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, understands the importance of change. When he first joined Comcast Corporation as the company's second lawyer in 1984, the company was situated on a half floor of a suburban office building and its 400,000 subscribers were tuning in to watch new, cutting edge stations -- such as MTV, CNN, and ESPN -- through a television connected to a set-top box.


Today, Comcast sits atop Philadelphia and the cable industry with over 126,000 employees. And, with the convergence of cable, the internet, and mobile devices, Comcast's 22 million plus subscribers can now watch hundreds of channels wherever they are, whenever they want, and on the platform of their choosing. By embracing and adapting to change (and anticipating change in advance of its competitors), Comcast has become a leader in the media, entertainment and technology worlds. (Click to read the rest of the article)

AnnualMeeting2014Join us in the City of Brotherly Love for the 2014 Annual Meeting on September 21-24, 2014.  Registration will open in the next week and we expect space to fill up quickly!


The Annual Meeting will be at the centrally-located Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.    The hotel is located in Downtown Philadelphia in close proximity to restaurants and entertainment.  You can make your reservations now at our great room rate ($199/night) by calling the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown (800) 228-9290 and referencing the NAMWOLF Annual Meeting or by clicking here.


We anticipate that over 100 companies and 120 law firms will attend, with over 600 attendees! The team planning the Annual Meeting is organizing a terrific schedule for networking, professional development opportunities and CLEs.  Highlights include:

         General Counsel Panel, featuring:  Doug Gaston, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Comcast Cable; Kimberley D. Harris, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, NBCUniversal; Nancy Laben, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.; Thomas L. Sager; Senior Vice President and General Counsel, DuPont; Romulo (Romy) L. Diaz Jr., Vice President and General Counsel, PECO Energy Company; Wendy S. White, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, University of Pennsylvania & Penn Medicine. (Click to read the rest of the article)

ReducingOutsideCounselSpendFour Tips for Reducing Outside Litigation Counsel Spend

By Steve Barentzen, PCT Law Group, PLLC, Washington D.C.


According to the recent Norton Rose Fulbright's 10th annual Litigation Trends Survey, the amount that U.S. companies are spending on litigation is sharply on the rise.  The survey of more than 400 corporate general counsel found that companies are hiring more outside attorneys and are paying those lawyers more money than ever.  71 percent of corporations spent $1 million or more on litigation cost in 2013, up from 53 percent the two previous years.  More than 26 percent of companies saw their litigation costs exceed $10 million last year, compared with only 11 percent in 2011.  Faced with ever increasing pressure to buck these trends and reduce costs, here are four suggestions for in-house counsel to consider:      

1)            Hire the Right Firm

While there are some large and complex matters that require the capacity and infrastructure that can only be provided by a large firm, these matters are the exception and not the rule.  With some research and networking, companies are likely to find experienced and skilled attorneys practicing at small and medium-sized firms that can handle the great majority of litigation - including large and complex cases.  (Click to read the rest of the article)

BantheBoxWhat Employers Need to Know about "Ban the Box"

By Rebecca Newman, Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP, Pasadena, California


For advocates of the "Ban the Box" movement, 2013 might be appropriately called a banner year. "Ban the Box," in addition to referring to a "pledge" that employers voluntarily make to refrain from asking applicants about their arrest and/or conviction records on job applications, has also come to be used as shorthand for legislation that prohibits or limits employers from asking such questions on job applications. In 2013 alone, five states (California, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, and Rhode Island) adopted "Ban the Box" measures, joining Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and New Mexico in enacting legislation or taking other action that prohibits or limits some or all employers from inquiring about an applicant's criminal history. These laws vary by state, as some apply only to public governmental agencies, while others apply to both private and public entities. (Click to here to read the rest of the article)
LEPACArticleLabor & Employment Practice Area Sponsored Article:

California's Departure from Federal Law on Religious Accommodation Rules Will Have Employers Praying for Help

By Carolina Bravo-Karimi, Associate at Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP, San Diego, California


Because of the expansion of religious diversity in the United States in conjunction with post-9/11 sensitivity to religious discrimination, U.S. employers increasingly confront challenging religious accommodation requests.  In particular, employers are regularly forced to make tough decisions on requests for accommodation of religious practices that conflict with workplace requirements.  Indeed, is an employer required to grant an employee's request for every Saturday off to observe the Sabbath if Saturday work is obligatory?  Do employers have to allow employees to wear certain hairstyles, facial hair, or head coverings that contravene grooming and dress code policies?  Recent developments in both case law and legislation have resulted in the expansion of employees' rights to religious accommodation in the workplace.  As such, it is critical for employers to handle such requests with increased sensitivity, flexibility, and creativity.  (Click to read the rest of the article)

Transactional Practice Area Committee 
Sponsored Article

Handling Pension Plans in M&A Transactions after Sun Capital Partners

By: Sherrie Boutwell, Boutwell Fay LLP, Irvine, California


This term, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case of Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, 724 F.3d 129, 56 EBC 1139 (1st Cir. 2013), cert. denied (March 3, 2014)[1], leaving in place a controversial decision by the First Circuit Court of Appealswhich held that a private equity firm could be liable for the pension multiemployer withdrawal liability obligations of one of its portfolio companies.  The Sun Capital Partners case had drawn attention because it appears to deviate from long standing IRS interpretations of the term "trade or business" in the income tax arena. (Click to read the rest of the article)


[2] See the lengthy discussion of the PBGC's position in the Sun Capital Partners opinion.  Although the First Circuit gave no deference to the PBGC's position, it ultimately agreed with the PBGC's analysis.
2014 Annual Meeting Sponsors - THANK YOU!

2014 Annual Meeting Vendors - THANK YOU!

Law Firms Admitted in 2014

Marketing Tips and Tricks

MarketingTipsandTricksAchieving Success by Delivering a Full Marketing Experience to Your Client

By Claudia E. Lechtman, Nukk-Freeman & Cerra, P.C., Chatham, New Jersey


Whether you are a small law firm with no marketing staff or a mid-size to large firm with lots of support, you don't need vast resources to create a "buzz-worthy" experience for your clients.  The key to developing long lasting and engaging relationships that convert to revenue is treating your clients as individuals and learning as much as you can about each person.  (Click here to keep reading)
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