March 2015 

LetterFromtheEditorA Letter From the Editors...

Dear NAMWOLF Members -


Please find our first Quarter NAMWOLF Newsletter for 2015 with this email. Please remember to circulate this email to all the members of your firm. There is only one recipient for your firm and you are it. We are so pleased to have added a number of new firms and contributors to our newsletter family. You will see their bylines in the articles below.


Our hard-working Newsletter staff consists of: Angela France (PCT Law Group, PLLC, Alexandria, Virginia), Crystal Vanderputten (The Livingston Law Firm, Walnut Creek, CA), Oscar Lizardi/Pat Lopez/Tim Reckart (all of Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, Tucson, AZ), Keely Herrick (Parks Wood Law, Atlanta, Georgia), Amy Kurson (Reyes Kurson, Chicago, IL) and of course, Jane Kalata (NAMWOLF). We welcome Susan D. Koval (Nemeth Law, Detroit, MI) and Joshua Brown (Lee + Kinder, Denver, CO) to our team.


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

CEONoteA Note from the CEO...
By: Joel Stern, NAMWOLF

We are now a few weeks post the San Antonio Business Meeting and I want to share some of my reflections from this meeting.

  1. There were more than 260 law firm members and in-house counsel together for three days focused on helping NAMWOLF achieve its mission and vision. Many introductions were made and relationships were either established or enhanced. I heard from several that we have the best "people" at our meetings and I know this to be the case since it was one of the primary reasons I gravitated towards NAMWOLF more than 11 years ago. It is why I so often refer to our Members and in-house as 'family.' I do not use that term loosely.
  2. The Petco lunch session was outstanding and provided an example of how one company found a way to use NAMWOLF firms as the "go to law firms" across the United States, We need to figure out how to emulate this model in other areas of the law and with other companies. The video from the GC of Petco, Darragh Davis, is now on our website and I urge all those that didn't see Darragh's video introduction to take the 10 or so minutes to do so.
  3. The CEO of CST, Kim Lubel, gave a great luncheon address to a sold out audience on her journey as a mother, GC and then CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Her words of wisdom were insightful and inspirational not only to women but to all of us who attended. (Click here to keep reading)

CorpSpotlightKeyBankCorporate Spotlight - KeyBank, N.A.

By Danielle Linert, Giffen & Kaminski, LLC, Cleveland, OH


Based in Cleveland, Ohio, KeyCorp is one of the nation's largest bank-based financial services companies, with assets of approximately $90 billion. Key provides deposit, lending, cash management and investment services to individuals, small and medium-sized business under the name KeyBank National Association. Key also provides a broad range of sophisticated corporate and investment banking products, such as merger and acquisition advice, public and private debt and equity, syndications and derivatives to middle market companies in selected industries throughout the United States under the KeyBanc Capital Markets trade name.

The attributes of inclusion, diversity, and respect that Key infuses within the organization have powerful outcomes. Key has found that these initiatives improve business performance, assist the organization to understand its customers, drive important investments in the community, and support job creation and economic development.  


As part of Key's overall business strategy, it committed to expanding mutually beneficial relationships with minority, women, veteran-owned and LGBT businesses. That commitment starts at the top with visible and strong support and leadership from KeyCorp's Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Beth Mooney. Key's comprehensive model for engaging with minority, women, veteran-owned and LGBT businesses reflects national best practices such as CEO/senior management involvement, outreach to diverse suppliers, Key's Supplier Diversity Advisory Council and Diversity & Inclusion Council. (Click to keep reading


Get Involved with NAMWOLF


Join the monthly call of the Membership, Engagement and Outreach ("MEO") Committee to learn what's happening within the organization. You can join monthly or from time to time. Our monthly calls are open to all of our member firms and we encourage anyone interested in knowing what activities are being planned by the Practice Area Committees, or what efforts are being made by the MEO Sub-Committees and other NAMWOLF Committees to join the call. Each of the following PACs, Sub-Committees, and NAMWOLF Committees report on their highlights for the month. (Click here to keep reading

BryantRabbinoSpotlight - Member Firm:  Bryant Rabbino LLP

New York, NY

By: Kirk Willis, The Willis Law Group PLLC, Dallas, Texas


Bryant Rabbino LLP is a boutique law firm comprised of seasoned, diverse practitioners who represent sophisticated clients on complex matters. A new NAMWOLF law firm member, Bryant Rabbino joined in order to maximize opportunities to work with companies that seek high quality, complex legal services through diverse law firms. They offer top-notch legal services at competitive rates through their team of senior attorneys who have practiced at the nation's largest law firms. Their attorneys have developed highly specialized capabilities in their dedicated practice areas and, in some instances, are thought leaders in their fields.


They are dedicated to delivering efficient, responsive services. With their diverse practice capabilities, they offer clients an interdisciplinary team of attorneys who work together in a seamless, cooperative fashion. They pride themselves on keeping the big picture in full view, completing the transaction in a manner that advances their clients' interests. They are committed to providing the highest quality legal services in an ethical and conscientious manner.  (Click here to keep reading)


WillisLawGroupSpotlight - Member Firm:  The Willis Law Group PLLC

Dallas, Texas

By: Oscar Lizardi, Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, PLLC, Tucson, Arizona


Meeting any member of The Willis Law Group is sure to create a lasting impression. The firms' CEO, partners, associates and staff are outgoing legal professionals who excel in their fields of practice. The firm is dedicated to providing large firm expertise combined with the personal attention obtained from a smaller firm. They believe in building custom solutions to the most challenging legal products and delivering results on time and within budget. In short, they get the work done right - the first time.


TWLG was founded in 2012 by CEO Kirk D. Willis, who wanted to create the type of diverse, multicultural firm committed to client service excellence where attorneys of all types could work together to form a growth-minded organization. Today, TWLG has more than 30 attorneys who practice a variety of practice areas. They are thankful for their clients whose requests for work enables the firm to continue its organic growth.(Click here to keep reading)

OfficeRomancesOffice Romances - How Employers Can Protect Against Liability

By: Anne Widlak, Partner, Nemeth Law, P.C., Detroit, Michigan

Submitted on behalf of the Labor and Employment PAC


Although Valentine's Day is behind us, romance should not be forgotten. But when romance occurs in the workplace, it brings with it potential pitfalls that employers should take seriously. Some studies suggest that as many as half of all employees have engaged in an inter-office relationship, with half of those individuals admitting to having a tryst on site. Office romances have been a fact of life for a long time, but many employers are surprised to learn that these relationships can cause real problems in the workplace if they are not addressed.


For instance, when employees become aware that a supervisor and a subordinate are seeing one another, there is a real risk that co-workers will assume that the subordinate is getting special treatment. A perception of favoritism can create serious morale problems and significantly lower productivity.  And how does the manager handle employment decisions about his or her sweetheart? What happens when the relationship is over? If the manager decides to end the relationship, a scorned lover may claim that the relationship was never consensual but was in reality sexual harassment. Or perhaps the subordinate breaks off the romance - he or she may claim that any negative employment decisions that follow are retaliatory. (Click here to keep reading

RoyaltyStructuresAre Royalty Structures in Hybrid License About to Get Simpler 

By: Tim Reckart and Brendan Haberle, Rusing Lopez & Lizardi, PLLC, Tucson, Arizona


On March 31, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, Inc., a case with the potential to alter important aspects of patent and trade secret licensing profoundly. The petitioner in Kimble is appealing an adverse ruling from the Ninth Circuit, in which the Ninth Circuit court applied Supreme Court precedent from Brulotte v. Thys Co., decided in 1964, that established that license agreements providing for payments of royalties beyond the term of the licensed patent were per se unlawful. As the type of license in issue in Kimble-a "hybrid license" covering both patented inventions and unpatented know-how together-is common in many technology fields, a ruling overturning Brulotte or otherwise circumscribing it to ease restrictions on post-patent royalties could lead to major changes in technology licensing practice. (Click here to keep reading

RimkusVendor Spotlight: Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.

By: Sonjui L. Kumar, Kumar, Prabhu, Patel & Banerjee, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia


Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc. ( is a worldwide provider of forensic consulting services to insurance companies, law firms, corporations and government agencies. Rimkus assists clients in the responsive and timely resolution of claims and disputes. The company's team of professional engineers, scientists, certified financial consultants, and technical specialists is recognized for its commitment to service excellence by local, national and international business communities.


Rimkus is a long-time partner of NAMWOLF and has been attending the Annual Meetings and participating with NAMWOLF since October 2009. John Orr, Senior Vice President of Marketing was invited to participate with NAMWOLF by a good friend and law firm member Carlos Rincon. Since then, Rimkus has enjoyed the continued relationship, made many new friends and met outstanding individuals within the NAMWOLF network. They look forward to a long and relationship with the organization.(Click here to keep reading

ThreeQuickTipsThree Quick Tips to Increase Your Visibility on LinkedIn

By: Mayra A. Jimenez, Marketing Coordinator at AlvaradoSmith, Orange County, California

Submitted on behalf of the Marketing Best Practices Committee


Tip No. 1: Who are you?  Use your professional headline, the description directly below your name on your profile page, as a tagline and branding tool. While LinkedIn automatically populates your professional headline with your current position, you can edit it to add value to your profile. It is not compelling or descriptive if it simply states your job title. Use your professional headline to communicate the type of attorney you are and what industry or practice area you work in. How would you find yourself through a Google search?  How would you find your competitors? How would you stand out?

Tip No. 2: Grow your network
.  If you need an excuse to reach out to an old client, colleague or friend, connect with them on LinkedIn. When you add people to your network, it sends a default message reading "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." Stand out by taking a few minutes to personalize your message with a short note. Ask what's new with them, tell them a bit of news about yourself, and tell them you're looking forward to getting reconnected. Not only will you make a good impression, you are likely to get a response. (Click here to keep reading)

BasicsofSocialMediaBasics of Social Media for Legal Writing

By: Keely Herrick, Parks Wood Law, Atlanta, Georgia


Nothing thrills your clients more than receiving a newsletter from a law firm, right? Admit it, even most lawyers don't look to social media primarily for legal writing. So, if you want to reach out to your community about topics in your field, how do you use social media effectively to avoid getting immediately zoned out of someone's news feed?


If It's Not Interesting to You, It's Not Interesting to Me

Just like when you're meeting a new person, the best rule for presenting yourself online is to be yourself. If you're forcing yourself to discuss a topic because you think that you should, rather than because you are interested in it, it's much more difficult to start an interesting dialogue. You wouldn't purposefully start a conversation about something you don't care about, so don't do that in your writing, either.


The World Is Your Audience

One caution as you write: you don't want to take a position that could be adverse to a current or potential client of your firm. Keep this in mind and try to discuss matters objectively. (Click here to keep reading)