Letter From The Past President Of The Association Of Corporate Counsel, South/Central Texas Chapter

2010-04-05 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

Ethics FollieAre Serious FunFor ACC National Conference

The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) will hold its international conference of in-house attorneys in San Antonio, Texas in October of 2010. On the program of the multi-day conference are experts in all areas of law department management, substantive law, technology law, and ethics and compliance. The ACC South/Central Texas Chapter meets monthly in San Antonio and will play host to the thousands of ACC members traveling from ACC chapters all over the U.S. and abroad.

Having been awarded Chapter of the Year in 2006, the San Antonio ACC chapter is best known for its unique musical parody ethics conference featuring singing and dancing attorneys and judges. Ethics Follies is a series of entertaining musical parodies and a storyline that brings a sharp focus on the compliance and regulatory issues that can arise in a corporation without an ethical tone set by the top corporate management. It brings attorneys and local judges together with professional actors to create a surprisingly professional production. Backdrops are flown in from New York theatre companies. The in-house attorneys make set pieces and design costumes. A professional stage manager and choreographer volunteer to make the show sparkle. Many executives attend Ethics Follies at the request of ACC members so the in-house attorneys can be on the same page as their clients. We are pleased to have over sixty talented singing, dancing, and acting judges, attorneys and local politicians in the show. It's all about raising awareness of ethics issues and avoiding white collar crime.

Ethics Follies focused last year on the many ethical issues raised by the indictment of Bernie Madoff, the misrepresentations of Governor Mark Sanford, issues surrounding the mortgage loan crisis, the repeated failure of the Security Exchange Commission to recognize multiple pyramid (Ponzi) schemes in the United States, and the intentional failure to recall dangerous products resulting from unethical management and weak boards of directors. "The focus of Ethics Follies each year is the prior twelve month's U.S. headlines about ethical issues and corporate crimes. It is always relevant to the ACC members and resonates with them to see the corporate ethics issues played out to their unfortunate consequences," said Ingrid Etienne, in-house counsel to NuStar Energy and Chair of the local ACC Chapter in San Antonio.Ms. Etienne has placed a large focus on pro-bono work with the San Antonio ACC Chapter and is pleased to have an ethics conference that raises much-needed funds for a local charity. "Ethics Follies conference brings together our ACC chapter, it educates business leaders and civic leaders in ethics issues that have arisen around the country, and has raised over fifty thousand dollars for a local charity called The Community Justice Program," she adds. "Our ACC chapter brings a lot to San Antonio besides a place to meet once a month for CLE. We are building a network between the corporations here through their in-house counsel who all enjoy the Ethics Follies program."

Ethics Follies is scheduled to sing and dance into the hearts of other ACC members at the ACC conference in October of 2010 by providing attendees ninety minutes of fun and informative CLE. We're looking forward to performing for other chapters and sharing what we know about blending ethics training and musical theatre. Some members have seen past performances of Ethics Follies at www.ethicsfollies.com, or seen the DVD of the performances. The Ethics Follies show is filmed for DVD that can be viewed by attorneys and accountants for continuing education credit. The Bexar County Courthouse in San Antonio shows the Ethics Follies DVD for CLE credit every month in a well-attended seminar. The profits from the monthly CLE benefit both the ACC Chapter and the San Antonio Bar Association. For more information about showing the Ethics Follies to your in-house department for CLE credit, contact the ACC South/Central Texas Chapter's Executive Director, Amber Clark at (210) 723-8769. To register for the ACC National Conference, visit www.acc.com.


Lee Cusenbary