Posts Tagged ‘corporate’

Vault Guide to Corporate Law Careers

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This Vault career guide provides law students and legal professionals with an inside look at careers in corporate law.

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How To Recruit a Corporate Attorney: Finding and Hiring Your Business Attorney

How To Recruit a Corporate Attorney: Finding and Hiring Your Business Attorney

If you own a business, even if it’s just an online store, you need legal representation to protect your interests. Unfortunately, many of us simply don’t know where to look or what questions to ask when we need a lawyer. With the tips in this book, you can find a lawyer who knows business law and will be able to handle any business litigation problems on your behalf. Your business could be in serious trouble without this valuable information. Get your copy now. You owe it to yourself.

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LawInfo Expands Free National Directory to Include Business and Corporate Attorneys

San Marcos, CA (PRWEB) February 5, 2008

LawInfo has now added qualified business attorneys to its free online national directory. These attorneys are a part of LawInfo’s signature service, the Lead Counsel Program, which is designed to provide a simple and reliable way for anyone on the Web to find a pre-qualified, pre-screened attorney, such as a business lawyer, tax attorney or investment fraud lawyer, quickly and easily. The Lead Counsel Program has resulted in the enhanced screening of attorneys’ credentials and has become a symbol of quality assurance for consumers searching for legal representation.

Business law encompasses rules, statutes, codes and regulations which govern commercial relationships such as banking and finance law, business formation and organization, business negotiations, business planning, transactional business law, mergers and acquisition, divestiture and sale of businesses, and business litigation, as well as environmental, intellectual property, labor and civil law areas.

The most common types of business organizations include:

    Sole Proprietorship
    Partnership–which can take the form of a regular partnership, a general partnership, limited partnership or limited liability partnership.
    Corporation. The default form of a corporation is a C Corporation (also known as Subchapter C Corporation). Smaller corporations typically file for the S Corporation (Subchapter S) tax election so they are not double-taxed.
    Limited Liability Company (LLC)–which is a hybrid formation that provides personal liability protection similar to a corporation, with the flexibility and tax advantages of a single proprietorship or partnership.
Business attorneys are typically retained for reasons such as a business owner being investigated for securities fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission or if a customer is severely injured on a business premises. However, there are a lot of not-so-obvious reasons why a business attorney should also be hired. A qualified and experienced business lawyer can avert a lot of legal issues that arise with the forming of a business and he or she can advise you on the best business formation for your needs. A skilled business attorney, as found through LawInfo’s free national directory, can also help research any possible intellectual property issues and issues relating to hiring employees, tax issues and other legal matters.

For over a decade, LawInfo’s mission has been to assist the public in locating qualified attorneys and legal services. Founded in 1994, LawInfo is recognized nationwide as a leader within the legal community. In addition to listing a national directory in which to locate skilled business attorneys, also provides access to the latest legal news, breaking reports on FDA-mandated recalls for defective drugs and dangerous products and supplies an index of experienced local and national attorneys who are handling such cases. LawInfo is staffed by experienced legal industry professionals and their corporate offices are located in San Marcos, California, just thirty minutes north of San Diego.

For more information about Lead Counsel business attorneys, or LawInfo’s free legal resource center, call 1-800-397-3743 or visit


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Corporate Image Is Everything… Or Is It?

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Corporate Image Is Everything… Or Is It?

Corporate Image Is Everything… Or Is It?

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Corporate Image Is Everything… Or Is It?

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Posted: Jan 18, 2007 |Comments: 0
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Corporate Image Is Everything… Or Is It?

By: Ross Laguzza

About the Author

Ross Laguzza, PhD is a founder of and principal in R&D Strategic Solutions, trial consultants and jury consultants specializing in jury selection, jury consulting, and trial consulting.

(ArticlesBase SC #93683)

Article Source: Image Is Everything… Or Is It?

Even before the perilous days of post-Enron corporate bashing, defense lawyers and their clients spent considerable amounts of time developing strategies for softening a company’s image, personalizing a company, and/or acquainting jurors with the benevolent motivations of a corporation and its people. I will never forget one client that made it a condition of retention that the trial lawyers mention early and often the company’s annual gift of American flags to the Boy Scouts. The basic assumption underlying these efforts is quite simple: If the jury can be persuaded to humanize the corporation, it will be more receptive to its themes, evidence and witnesses, and hopefully less punitive.

Sometimes clients engage in a fair amount of debate about who should represent the company at trial. There often is a great deal of emphasis placed on getting a person with the right “look,” the right position, and of course the patience and commitment needed to sit through a lengthy trial. Again, the idea is that a positive image will increase the chances of a favorable verdict. Reality, especially when it comes in the form of juror decision-making, can be quite complex, but often more predictable when understood. Indeed, real jurors find against companies they think highly of all the time while companies with less than desirable images prevail. How can this be?

The Risk of Being a Good Guy

As it turns out, the effect of corporate image–whether it be positive, negative, or neutral, on juror decision-making–is influenced by other key factors which must be assessed to truly understand case risk. A company with a positive image may be at higher risk than a company with a neutral image and, in some cases, than one with a negative image. A company’s image does not operate in isolation of other key factors. Indeed, in some cases, it doesn’t even figure into jurors’ decision to punish.

Years of empirical research on jury decision-making shows the path jurors are likely to travel when deciding to punish a corporation. We’ll explore those pathways, with reference to the following terms:

– *Allegation* refers to the claims made against a corporation in a given case. This is a critical filter through which jurors evaluate everything else.

– *Image* refers to the image a company has going into trial and can be located along a continuum from negative to positive. (This factor, along with the others can change over the course of a trial.)

– *Responsibility* relates to jurors’ typical interest in whether or not the company has acted irresponsibly in terms of policies, procedures, conduct, supervision, enforcement, testing, and the like.

– *Safety* refers to jurors’ concerns about whether the company is committed to safety in everything that it does. This construct includes physical and emotional safety and applies to all cases.

– *Knowledge and Control* refers to the algorithm jurors use in all cases to make attributions of fault. The more knowledge of and control over the circumstances that produced the allegation a company has (relative to the plaintiff), the more blame will be assigned to the company.

– *Desire to punish* is selected as the key outcome variable since it is typically at the center of any risk assessment.

The Path to Hell is Paved with Good Corporate Image

The specific allegation, (e.g., sexual harassment, toxic tort, breach of contract, personal injury) activates a set of juror expectations and beliefs which will influence how the corporation and case facts are perceived by the jury. From that point, jurors can travel initially in one of three directions.

– Pathway 1 (allegation/image/knowledge and control/desire to punish): Some jurors will consider the company’s image and see if it fits the allegation. In the case of a company with a positive image, the model suggests that jurors will still look at the facts to determine whether the company had more knowledge and control than the plaintiff over the factors that produced the dispute. If they determine that the company has much more knowledge and control, jurors still will be motivated to punish. The typical juror justification for punishing a company with a positive image is, “They know better than to treat people that way.

I am really surprised that they would act that way given that they have the power to do whatever they want and usually make the right choices. They need to be sent a message that they must live up to their high standards 100% of the time.” Holding companies with positive reputations to unrealistically high standards is quite common and explained by this model. A simple way to think about this is when the celebrated sports hero is caught dealing drugs. It is seen as a fall from grace and people feel betrayed. So, in this situation, efforts to enhance the company’s reputation actually make matters worse.

– Pathway 2 (allegation/responsibility/knowledge and control/desire to punish): Some jurors will move from the allegation to the question of whether or not the company acted responsibly. If they feel the company failed to meet their expectations–especially if the company is perceived to have significant amounts of knowledge and control–jurors will be motivated to punish. As can be seen, jurors following this pathway need not consider the company’s image at all. In reality, this is quite common and many efforts at trial to “put a face on the company” are in vain.

– Pathway 3 (allegation/safety/knowledge and control/desire to punish): Some jurors will move from the allegations to the question of whether or not the company is committed to safety. Jurors try to determine a pattern of conduct consistent with a safety motive. Even in cases in which jurors believe the company acted unsafely in a specific instance, they still want to know if the conduct was an isolated incident or the product of an unsafe corporate culture. Again, the safety construct applies to all cases, even those which don’t involve physical consequences. For example, a company that permits discrimination is unsafe in a broader sense, even if no one is physically harmed. Knowledge and control plays the same role as in the other pathways.

– Complex Pathways: Of course, during the course of a trial, jurors may evaluate other issues along other pathways, one of these being corporate image. The company at the highest risk for punitive damages is the one which jurors individually or collectively conclude acted irresponsibly and unsafely, even though it had adequate knowledge and control over the circumstances, but otherwise has a positive reputation. The inconsistency between what jurors expect and what they observe is a powerful motivator for punitive damages (e.g., “I always thought they were such a good company. This conduct is really beneath them”).

On the other hand, a company with a negative image may escape punishment because jurors believe that, in the context of the specific allegations, it acted responsibly and safely. This is especially true when jurors believe that the plaintiff had enough knowledge and control over the circumstances and was not a victim (e.g., “I don’t like this insurance company, but I do believe they had the plaintiff’s best interest in mind, and besides, the plaintiff should have complained sooner if he felt he was being cheated”).

It seems complicated; can’t we just go back to “personalizing” the corporation?

Defending a company is complicated. Focusing on corporate image alone is risky. The other key factors represented in the model are vitally important in jurors’ decision to punish (or find against the defendant). Ignoring any of the issue areas when evaluating and preparing a case is perilous. The model also suggests that the best way to motivate jurors to think favorably of a company is to show how the company is responsible and safe in the context of the allegations made against it and not merely in general terms (i.e., is a charitable company that is a good citizen in the community).

In fact, jurors report resenting attempts to build the image of a company at trial by focusing on irrelevant deeds. The flag-giving company mentioned earlier was routinely trounced by juries who reported resenting the mere mention of the company’s pro-scouting contributions. Knowledge and control is the critical junction for all pathways. Most effective trial strategy starts with an analysis how to increase juror perceptions of plaintiff’s knowledge and control. The fallout from Enron has made the game harder to play, but it is the same game and can be won if you know the rules.

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(ArticlesBase SC #93683)

Ross Laguzza
About the Author:

Ross Laguzza, PhD is a founder of and principal in R&D Strategic Solutions, trial consultants and jury consultants specializing in jury selection, jury consulting, and trial consulting.


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Ross Laguzza, PhD is a founder of and principal in R&D Strategic Solutions, trial consultants and jury consultants specializing in jury selection, jury consulting, and trial consulting.

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Q&A: How many corporate attorneys does it take to change a light bulb?

Question by Amoureux: How many corporate attorneys does it take to change a light bulb?
Who knows, you need 250 just to lobby for the research grant.
How many defense attorneys does it take to change a light bulb?

How many can you afford?
How many divorce attorneys does it take to change a light bulb? It only takes one divorce attorney to change your light bulb to his light bulb.
How many personal injury attorneys does it take to change a light bulb? Three — one to turn the bulb, one to shake him off the ladder, and the third to sue the ladder company.
How many contract attorneys does it take to change a light bulb?

Whereas the party of the first part, also known as “Lawyer”, and the party of the second part, also known as “Light Bulb”, do hereby and forthwith agree to a transaction wherein the party of the second part (Light Bulb) shall be removed from the current position as a result of failure to perform previously agreed upon duties, i.e., the lighting, elucidation, and otherwise illumination of the area ranging from the front (north) door, through the entryway, terminating at an area just inside the primary living area, demarcated by the beginning of the carpet, any spillover illumination being at the option of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and not required by the aforementioned agreement between the parties.

The aforementioned removal transaction shall include, but not be limited to, the following steps:

1.) The party of the first part (Lawyer) shall, with or without elevation at his option, by means of a chair, stepstool, ladder or any other means of elevation, grasp the party of the second part (Light Bulb) and rotate the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a counter-clockwise direction, this point being non-negotiable.

2.) Upon reaching a point where the party of the second part (Light Bulb) becomes separated from the party of the third part (“Receptacle”), the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of disposing of the party of the second part (Light Bulb) in a manner consistent with all applicable state, local and federal statutes.

3.) Once separation and disposal have been achieved, the party of the first part (Lawyer) shall have the option of beginning installation of the party of the fourth part (“New Light Bulb”).
This installation shall occur in a manner consistent with the reverse of the procedures described in step one of this self-same document, being careful to note that the rotation should occur in a clockwise direction, this point also being non-negotiable.

NOTE: The above described steps may be performed, at the option of the party of the first part (Lawyer), by any or all persons authorized by him, the objective being to produce the most possible revenue for the party of the fifth part, also known as “Partnership.”

Best answer:

Answer by Don Quixote
Ha ha ha ha, totally excellent, a very good story, lol…!

Add your own answer in the comments!

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by - November 10, 2010 at 2:18 pm

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