Letter from the Public Relations Chair, Association of Corporate Counsel, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

2012-01-03 16:46

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel:

One of ACC’s largest and most progressive chapters, led by this year’s president, Robert Shives, associate general counsel at Fujitsu America, Inc., the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter provides a wide range of services for its membership and the community including substantive CLE events covering a broad array of topics of interest to our members, networking and social events, online resources, pro bono activities and stewardship awards to local organizations working for our community.  

This year we worked with our dedicated law firm sponsors to provide over 100 CLE events covering a broad range of topics, from eCommerce, intellectual property and life sciences to labor and employment and real estate for our over 2,000 chapter members. We also provide networking and social events, including our annual sellout Night at the Ballpark, hosting 60+ chapter members in suites for a Giants game. Programs are offered throughout the Bay Area, focusing on San Francisco, Palo Alto and the East Bay. 

Based on popular demand, on November 16, we hosted our phenomenally successful second annual Contracts Day program, Deal Or No Deal 2011 – Digging Deeper In The Box – an all-day seminar series focused on the substantive, procedural and ethical aspects of contracts and contracting. Approximately 350 ACC members and over 40 speakers and sponsor representatives attended. Topics of the five panel discussions were SAAS Contracting, Social Media Contracts, Ethics of Negotiations, How to Prepare Your Client for the Contracting Process and International Contracts. The day concluded with a hosted networking and cocktail reception with well over 100 in attendance. Event co-chairs Kevin Meier, assistant general counsel at SAP and Bill Becker, senior director of intellectual property at Align Technology, Inc., worked with chapter staff, committee members and sponsors to successfully create and execute the event. Also integral to the program’s success were our presentation sponsors, White & Case, Drinker Biddle & Reath, JAMS, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, Osborne Clarke, and other sponsors, including Business Integrity, Practical Law Company, Via Language, Essential Discovery, Special Counsel, Evolve Discovery, Secure Talent, Merrill Corporation and Thompson Reuters.

The chapter also offers a robust Pro Bono program. Lilia Rose, senior corporate attorney at NetApp, Inc., the program chair, created a successful and valuable program based on the Clinic in a Box model of best practices, bringing together chapter members, our sponsoring law firm Fenwick and West and local nonprofit organizations.  The committee offers quarterly Clinic in a Box programs, which generally attract over 50 volunteers and a wide array of recipients per event. We welcome any new members who would like to get involved in this valuable service!

Further serving our community, our Stewardship Committee, chaired by Joseph Catalano, senior vice president & chief litigation counsel, Union Bank, provides funding to organizations providing valuable legal resources and support. This year’s recipients include Volunteer Legal Services Program (VLSP), Legal Services for Children, Legal Assistance to the Elderly, Legal Advocates for Children & Youth, Cooperative Restraining Order Clinic, AIDS Legal Referral Panel, and Legal Aid of San Mateo County. Over the last three years, our chapter has donated almost $200,000 to these organizations. 

In an effort to continue our chapter’s giving, we plan to present the Ethics Follies, a nationally renowned and hilarious one-hour CLE presentation written, directed and performed by lawyers. The event will be held at The Computer Museum on the evening of March 1, 2012, and will include a pre-show reception and an after-show cast party. The chapter is anticipating a grand turnout for this event. Another noteworthy upcoming event is our annual Last Minute Very Hard-to-Find CLE Credits Program on January 20, 2012.

 The chapter wouldn’t be able to offer all of these resources without our chapter sponsors: Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP, Baker & McKenzie LLP, Bingham McCutchen LLP, Crowell & Moring LLP, DLA Piper LLP, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Farella Braun + Martel LLP, Fenwick & West LLP, Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, Jackson Lewis LLP, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, Morrison Foerster LLP, Perkins Coie LLP, Ropes & Gray LLP, White & Case LLP, and Winston & Strawn LLP.

If you would like more information or would like to get involved as a new member or possible sponsor, please contact DeeDee Ford, our chapter administrator, at ddford@acc-sfba.com.


Jennifer Sanders