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Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - 01:00

Budget constraints make it essential to hire an outside counsel or legal service provider who does not charge you for reinventing the wheel. How can you identify the leading experts in the legal profession who can provide you with the advice that you need without reinventing the wheel?

Readers of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel are long familiar with the wealth of information that our publication makes available at their fingertips. Its many resources help corporate counsel to keep abreast of general legal trends, stay current in their fields and identify the outside counsel and legal service providers that can supply for the specific help they need.

The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel's resources are available through subscription to our print publication (complimentary to in-house counsel) as well as online at www.metrocorpcounsel.com (complimentary to all visitors).

Visitors to our website can access a wealth of information in a variety of ways.

Our home page features our current issue and archives prior issues from January 2004. You can scroll through the online index to learn about hot topics and click on the title of the articles that you'd like to read.

Here's a hypothetical demonstration of how you can use our site to delve more deeply into a topic and to find the help you need.

What Do I Do Now?

ActionInvent is a publicly traded multi-national corporation that manufactures various communications products used by businesses and some government agencies. Foreign governments have been purchasing one of ActionInvent's satellite radio systems because of the various benefits it provides. ActionInvent relies on a network of independent sales workers who contact government officials in these countries and negotiate the sale of the radio systems.

Recently, Sara Abel, ActionInvent's in-house counsel received an anonymous comment from an employee through the company's employee hotline. The employee suggested that some of the sales workers have been offering government officials payments to secure lucrative contracts and misrepresenting those payments as legitimate business expenses on their expense reports. Alarmed by this report and the exposure that the company could face under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), Sara contacted the CEO and the audit committee of the board to discuss the situation and to determine how to proceed. The company decided to proceed with a formal investigation to determine the legitimacy of the complaint, to root out any potential wrongdoers and to review existing policies to ensure they are adequate to prevent this type of activity from occurring.

During her preparation for the investigation, Sara remembered articles she read in The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel discussing compliance with the FCPA and best practices for internal investigations.

She went to www.metrocorpcounsel.com , searching for articles on the FCPA, compliance and internal investigations. She found a number of relevant articles by lawyers and forensic accountants which enhanced her understanding of the process.

She then checked the "Bios" of the authors who wrote the articles. She found by clicking on the links to their "Bios" in the "Links" tool bar at the top of their articles at www.metrocorpcounsel.com that their backgrounds reflected the expertise she was seeking. She confirmed that expertise by clicking on "Other Articles" under the authors' names. By clicking "Other Articles" and "Website" under their firms' names, she found that the firms met her law department's diversity and other standards.

Her next step was to send RFPs to each firm. The rest is history!

Why pay a lawyer to reinvent the wheel?

Information from www.metrocorpcounsel.com can help you to make an informed choice when selecting your outside counsel or legal service provider.

Be sure to visit www.metrocorpcounsel.com today!