Preserve A Vital Information Source! Let's All Pull Together In The Current Financial Crisis

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 - 01:00

Martha Driver (Publisher)

Al Driver (Editor)

The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel has served corporate counsel as a vital information source for 16 years. The need for the services we provide is even greater today as corporate counsel and their corporate clients face new challenges. Our print version serves a corporate counsel audience of about 24,000 corporate counsel readers at 9,000 legal locations nationwide while our website serves the numerous visitors who come to our website (which currently receives over a million hits monthly)

Even as the first tremors of the current financial earthquake were being felt, MCC continued to remind its readers that general counsel should follow in the footsteps of the general counsel of companies like GE that recognized the direct link between high performance and high integrity.

Current challenges make it even more important for MCC to keep corporate counsel informed.

To the extent that MCC continues to communicate important messages to corporate counsel, they and their corporate clients will be able to better cope with the challenges posed by the current crisis. Let's look at some of the challenges and opportunities about which business needs to be informed:

• As a result of the shift in political power in the federal government and in the states, plaintiffs' counsel, labor unions and other interest groups sense opportunities to advance their causes through legislation and regulations harmful to business and the economy. Corporate counsel throughout the country need to be informed about such legislation and regulations so that their corporate clients can take appropriate action by expressing their concerns to their elected representatives or filing their comments with regulatory agencies. Take, for example, our coverage of the SEC's proxy access proposal and the pending amendments to the False Claims Act in this month's Special Section on Hot Issues. The interview that continues on this page and the ones on pages 14, 15 and 16 are outstanding examples of the ways in which partners of fine law firms contribute to our efforts to inform corporate counsel of hot issues affecting their companies.

• The public has become increasingly cynical about business. The nation is now caught up in precisely the situation that Sarbanes-Oxley was enacted to prevent. To help counter the resulting anti-business bias that makes the public supportive of harmful legislation and regulations, there is a need for corporate counsel throughout the country to impress upon their CEOs the need to speak out about the good things their companies do. This need has and will be communicated to corporate counsel by this newspaper by continuing MCC 's series of interviews of CEOs and general counsel describing how their companies contribute to the economy, the community and economic recovery.

• Your corporate clients need information about the legal considerations involved in the steps they take in response to the crisis.They also need to be informed about ongoing opportunities to participate in the various stimulus packages and in the economic recovery generally while being alert to the legal obligations that they will be assuming as the price of participation.

How your law firms and your companies can help us better serve your information needs:

Encourage your law firms to support our efforts: Corporate counsel can help MCC to continue to support your corporate clients' interests through the current period of financial stress. You can do this most effectively by encouraging the relationship or engagement partners at your principal law firms to provide us with editorial content that addresses issues of common concern to corporations and to join with our other supporters in contributing the monetary support that enables us to continue to serve you and your company. And be sure to lavish praise on our current supporters listed on page 4.

• We are the most effective and least costly way of enabling your corporate client to add the strength of numbers to discussions of concerns with elected representatives throughout the country about harmful federal and state legislation and regulations, including, to mention a few, proxy access (making a fundamental change in corporate governance); the Employee Free Choice Act and the pending amendments to the False Claims Act. Because of our dedication to MCC 's mission, we, as publisher and editor, work 24/7 without compensation of any kind to address your and your companies' concerns. MCC is operated on a no-profit basis to serve you.

Provide corporate display advertising: Our readership is well compensated and sophisticated. Advertising in print or on our website can be very productive in generating business and good will. Also, many companies have advertising which emphasizes their social responsibility. We are the ideal vehicle for such advertising because it promotes our efforts to encourage companies to talk about the good things they do and reinforces our editorial commitment to corporate social responsibility.