MCC Interactive - Digging Deeper With Westlaw

Sunday, October 1, 2006 - 00:00

Craig Miller,
Thomson West

The October issue of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel includes Part II of the Special Report on Compliance Readiness (covered last month) with continued coverage about compliance processes designed to uncover potential compliance problems before they make the headlines. This issue also places special emphasis on articles and interviews related to International Law and Trade as well as a focus on Canada. Craig Miller, vice president and general manager, Corporate Sales Division, Thomson West, recommends that current Westlaw subscribers dig deeper into these issues through direct links to Westlaw from Metropolitan Corporate Counsel's Web site, www.metrocorpcounsel.com.

Corporate Legal departments have focused much attention on Compliance Readiness over the past several years. The importance of this issue is highlighted by recent news stories about compliance failures at large companies in such areas as backdating, privacy and healthcare that inexplicably passed through Sarbanes-Oxley 404 reviews and legal compliance programs. See pages 30-42 and 44-54 for articles relating to this issue. The cover of the Special Report (Page 31) features an interview with Anastasia Kelly, former executive vice president and general counsel of MCI, in which she sets forth steps that general counsel can follow to handle complex compliance functions more effectively. On Page 33 a general counsel and a chief compliance officer explore compliance policy development, education and communication.

To assist in-house and outside corporate counsel, CEOs, COOs, compliance officers, and corporate secretaries on compliance readiness issues, Westlaw offers Corporate Counsel Guidelines, an online treatise that reviews general principles unique to corporate counsel and applies them to possible real-life situations. A joint project of Thomson West and the Association of Corporate Counsel, this treatise covers many topics, including recordkeeping obligations under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and an inside counsel's Sarbanes-Oxley primer.

Another valuable source on Westlaw, Sarbanes-Oxley in Perspective, contains Harold Bloomenthal's comprehensive analysis of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

Additionally, check The Corporate Compliance Series, a complete resource for designing, implementing, and monitoring an effective compliance program. This series on Westlaw covers civil liability and criminal liability in several heavily regulated and litigated areas, including the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), environmental law, product liability, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), records retention, intellectual property, Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), fair hiring and termination, drug-free workplace, and securities.

A wide spectrum of international law and trade issues are discussed in this month's issue on pages 6,7,8,10,11,12, 26 and 28. The article on page 26 discussing the rationale for a law firm's creation of a corporate social responsibility practice group signals an important new trend. It reflects the growing consciousness among corporations that foreign investment is more than a "sometime thing" and that they have a long-term interest in the well-being of the foreign communities in which they do business. For more detailed information about international law and trade issues, Westlaw subscribers can access Laws of International Trade, a compilation of guides for corporate counsel covering the laws affecting companies with international business activity. This publication provides clear, practical advice on a wide range of important topics, such as export controls and remedies against unfair imports. It also covers international issues such as boycotts, arbitration, tax, antitrust, and sale of goods, as well as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, NAFTA, EU regulations, and the laws of specific countries. In addition, this publication contains concise executive legal summaries to help clients or management understand the basics of international trade law.

The Special Section on Canada on Pages 57-63 highlights the increasing integration of the U.S. and Canadian economies and the close cooperation that exists in relation to border security concerns. Of particular interest are discussions of the relatively few disputes between the two countries and the prospects for resolving them. On page 59 there is a discussion about the divergent paths that Canada and the U.S. are taking with respect to the patentability of business methods. For summaries of Canadian court decisions in corporate, commercial, and business law, Westlaw offers Carswell's Business Law Reports. These reports include cases under the federal and provincial corporations' statutes, prosecutions under the Competition Act, and cases on shareholders' rights, partnerships, rights of debtors and creditors, bills of exchange, promissory notes and guarantees, sale of a business, sale of goods, products liability, and commercial contracts.

Canada is being increasingly used by companies in the television and movie business as production venue. Last year $4 billion was invested in Canadian productions. There is also a discussion on page 61 about Toronto being an entertainment law destination.

The Entertainment Law Reporter on Westlaw provides the latest legal developments in movies, music, broadcasting, theater, publishing, art, multimedia and sports in the U.S. and Canada. Monthly issues include regular features such as recent cases, international cases, new legislation and regulations and legal affairs.

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.