MCC Interactive - Digging Deeper With Westlaw

Tuesday, August 1, 2006 - 01:00

Craig Miller,
Thomson West

The August issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel places special emphasis on articles and interviews related to Alternative Dispute Resolution and Investigations and Audits while including a Special Report focused on Pro Bono. 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 interest in alternative dispute resolution has increased exponentially in recent years. In short, parties involved find ADR faster, less expensive and often more responsive to their needs than traditional litigation. Negotiation, conciliation, mediation, appraisal and arbitration frequently offer better solutions than litigation. Pages 1 and 23 through 34 cover ADR. On pages 1, 23 and 27, leaders of three major ADR providers address important concerns of corporate counsel. The Hon. Judith Kaye, Chief Judge of the State of New York, discusses on page 33, suggestions of focus groups with respect to the very successful use of ADR in the Commercial Division, New York's business court.

With globalization has come growing recognition of the advantages offered by the New York Convention (130 countries agreed to enforce foreign arbitration awards to the same extent as local awards). This, together with concern about such issues as the "hometown effect," has resulted in a sharp increase in the use of international arbitration. See pages 1 and 24. Mediation is also going global. See page 31.

Corporate counsel are currently following with great interest court rulings that address issues relating to the use of class actions in ADR proceedings. See pages 25 and 26. Because of the high demand for critical ADR information, Thomson West has amassed many ADR resources on Westlaw including treatises, practice guides, journals and arbitration materials such as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Specialist to publications like the highly regarded Journal of American Arbitration, Dispute Resolution Magazine and Dispute Resolution Journal.

Another hot area covered this month are issues arising in connection with investigations and audits. A subject of intense interest is whether there are limits on the extent to which corporations can cooperate with prosecutors in their investigations. See page 19. The effective use of outside counsel in internal investigations (see pages 18 and 20), the handling of whistleblowers' complaints (see page 21) and places that are often overlooked when harvesting electronic data (see page 22) are also explored. I suggest counsel review our information on investigations and audits. This information provides proactive measures that should be taken and the next steps to take when they become necessary. The Legal Audit: The Corporate Internal Investigation provides information on implementing corporate preventive law programs, combining detailed commentary with checklists and sample documents to help identify, isolate, and handle potential problems before they occur. The guide also discusses procedures in the areas of employment, nonprofit organizations, product safety, record retention, personnel, environmental compliance, and accounts payable/receivable.

Although we hope all of our employees will act with the highest ethical and work standards, we need resources to help us prepare, without flaw, the next-step follow-up in the action process when employees fail to follow corporate policy. Investigating Employee Conduct offers guidance to employers on worker investigation methods and to employees on protecting their rights in the workplace and Corporate Internal Investigations contains the complete text of the treatise Corporate Internal Investigations by Dan K. Webb, Robert W. Tarun and Steven F. Molo. This definitive treatment covers attorney-client privilege, work product privilege, joint defense privilege, trade secrets, and confidential submissions to federal and state authorities, financial privacy, and personnel files.

To get background information on individuals highlighted in these articles as well as information on law firms as it relates to this article, visit Westlaw Profiler on Westlaw by going to the Profiler-All database. Westlaw Profiler provides a list of expert witnesses from across the United States with links to summaries of settlements and jury verdicts; other expert witness directories, and abstracts of articles from the selected MEDLINE Abstracts database that they have authored or that mention them.

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.