MCC Interactive - Digging Deeper With Westlaw

Saturday, July 1, 2006 - 00:00

Craig Miler,
Thomson West

The July issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel places special emphasis on articles and interviews related to employee benefits and compensation, while including a Special Section on homeland security - all areas uppermost in the minds of board members and senior management. Craig Miller, vice president and general manager, Corporate Division, Thomson West, recommends that current Westlaw subscribers dig deeper into these issues through direct links to Westlaw from The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel's Web site, www.metrocorpcounsel.com. The article on Page 31 summarizes an exclusive event sponsored by Thomson West. This event, held on June 8th in New York City's Rainbow Room, was moderated by West author and professor Arthur R. Miller and included distinguished panelists who shared their experiences, advice and guidance about how corporate counsel can prevail while managing media exposure.

Pages 18 and 20 of this issue focus on the practice and consequences of back-dating stock options. A recent count indicates that a growing number of companies have received inquiries from the SEC.

If you need to know more about back-dating issues, use Westlaw's news databases such as the New York Times, Thomson Financial News, and Securities and Blue Sky News. The SECNEWS database contains news and information about securities-related topics from newspapers, magazines, journals, newsletters, transcripts, and wires that specialize in securities-related topics.

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) affects the reporting of options. Westlaw's Sarbanes Oxley Act in Perspective, by Harold Bloomenthal, provides an in-depth analysis of SOX. To keep abreast of the latest issues focused on employee benefits and compensation, professionals rely on the Journal of Compensation and Benefits. This journal examines major issues affecting compensation and benefits and reports on activity by Congress, federal and state courts, regulatory agencies, and what's new in executive compensation.

If you are responsible for building an efficient process to prevent options issues, Westlaw has a variety of resources including the HR Series Compensation and Benefits and the Employment Coordinator. These resources are designed to provide compensation and benefits professionals with plain-English explanations, expert analysis, and practical advice on compensation and benefits-related topics.

Another useful resource is the BNA Corporate Practice Portfolios: Stock Options and Other Equity-Based Compensation Arrangements database on Westlaw. This portfolio outlines and analyzes the tax, corporate, securities, and accounting considerations that are relevant when establishing and maintaining an equity-based compensation plan.

Homeland security and crisis management is another topic discussed in this month's issue. Pages 9, 36, 37, 38 and 39 address issues relating to a possible avian flu pandemic. The Terror Response Technology Report on Westlaw contains biweekly technology updates and information about how companies are preparing to respond to potential large-scale incidents and disasters such as an avian flu pandemic. Another useful resource includes the Homeland Security Database which brings together statutes, executive orders, regulations, case law, and analytical materials related to U.S. homeland security. This includes materials focused on efforts to both prevent future acts of domestic terrorism and how to respond appropriately if such acts should occur.

A complaint frequently heard from corporate counsel concerns the fact that such a large part of outside legal expense for litigation services reflect the time of associates - who are sometimes perceived as simply carrying a senior partner's briefcase. The interview on page 6 describes a litigation associate training program that addresses this complaint. The roundtable on page 30 focuses on law department management and the growing number of legal departments that hire individuals skilled in financial management to oversee the financial aspects of a law department's activities. The Westlaw database, Successful Partnering Between Inside and Outside Counsel, edited by Robert L. Haig, a partner from the law firm of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in New York City, examines all aspects of the relationship between inside and outside counsel including the financial aspects of running a legal department and steps that can be taken to control law firm costs. Topics include selection of outside counsel, planning and budgeting, fee arrangements and billing, law department management, benchmarking, technology, conflicts, compliance, dispute resolution and avoidance.

Finally, to get background information about individuals and their organizations (including authors and interviewees featured in this issue and their law firms), visit Westlaw Profiler by going to the PROFILER-ALL database. With Westlaw Profiler, you can learn more about the professional experiences of key individuals by reviewing a full list of their cases, jury verdicts, depositions and briefs. You can also see their articles in bar journals, law reviews, MEDLINE abstracts and other authored materials.

For information on becoming a Westlaw subscriber, please visit west.thomson.com or call Jocelyn Tollin at (212) 548-7438. Visit www.metrocorpcounsel.com to access the live links in this article and more.