Now Is The Time To Act! - For Your Company, For America

Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 01:00

Al Driver, Editor

Times of change such as these pose new challenges for general counsel and their legal staffs. They are called upon to advise their companies with respect to multiple threats to the ability of corporate America to contribute to our country's economic recovery and potential for future economic growth.

A Shifting Political Climate And Public Distrust Of Corporations

The election has brought about a shift in the political climate as organized labor and the trial bar move through legislative and regulatory channels to collect on the massive contributions that they have made to elected representatives at both the federal and state levels. At the same time, the financial crisis has triggered widespread public disillusionment with corporations and their leadership that has encouraged legislative and regulatory proposals that would make fundamental changes in corporate governance that weaken the ability of our corporations to continue to make our country the envy of the world.

A Bigger Role For General Counsel, But Resources Are Limited

The ability of corporations to respond to these multiple threats has been greatly enhanced because general counsel increasingly play the role of persuasive counselor to boards and CEOs to alert them to developments to which they need to respond. However, their ability to play this role effectively has been reduced by mounting legal costs.

Concerns Of Corporations Count, But General CounselNeeds To Be Alerted

While unions and trial lawyers have provided significant political contributions, corporations throughout the country are bulwarks of their communities and are listened to by their elected representatives. It is evident that our elected representatives are sensitive to the concerns of their constituents and will give them great weight in shaping policy. (The healthcare town meetings are an example.) But, corporations are unlikely to communicate those concerns unless general counsel are alerted to such concerns so that they can bring them to the attention of senior management.

Primary Communications Tool For Corporate Counsel Nationwide

We are proud that our newspaper serves as the primary communications tool to alert corporate counsel throughout the country to the threats their companies face today. It serves as a vital link in the communications chain by bringing to the attention of corporate counsel issues that should be communicated to senior management. We will in mid-October make this tool even more effective. Our Website will then link to a complete digital version of our newspaper with a page-turning feature.

Continuing Information About Issues And A Way To Dig For information

Articles and interviews in the online digital version of our newspaper will be linked to more detailed online information about the authors, their firms, their other articles and to our blogs and other topical coverage. Blogs will be launched to provide convenient running histories of subjects of greatest immediate importance, including Antitrust, Controlling Law Department Costs, Corporate Citizenship, Employee Free Choice Act and Other Union Initiatives, False Claims Act, Globalization, Role and Rights Of Corporate Counsel, SEC's Proxy Access Proposal And Other Governance Issues, and Tort Reform.

Keeping Information Flowing: Your Law Firms And Companies Can Help

This expanded coverage does not come without cost. As a no-profit public service effort, we need your help. Encourage your law firms and legal service providers to contribute to us by providing us with editorial material on substantive legal issues, display advertising and some contribution to defray costs. Appeal to your companies to provide monetary support and display advertising.And, express your appreciation to the law firms and service providers that, through this difficult period, provided us with the financial and editorial support we need to serve you. Contact us at for further information.