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  • 1. ETHICS IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE Ruth E. Kim General Counsel, SVP & Sr. Partner FLEISHMAN-HILLARD INC.
  • 2. Missouri Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 4-1.1: Competence A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. Notes: “legal knowledge and skill . . . thoroughness and preparation . . . and maintain competence . . .”
  • 3. Missouri Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 4-1.3: Diligence A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client. Notes: “commitment and dedication to the interest of the client and with zeal and advocacy upon the client’s behalf. . . ”
  • 4. Some facts of our lives:  Juggling a LOT of priorities;  Shorter deadlines;  Serving MANY internal clients;  The economy and budgets require careful allocation;  Difficult to make time to self-educate, to stay current;  New technology evolves so quickly, it can be daunting.
  • 5. Corporate Counsel Role  Our practice arena is continually evolving.  New technologies; changing workplaces (e.g. tele-commuting, paperless, etc.); evolving laws, and new trends affect our corporate clients’ opportunitiesAND risks.  We are more than ever called upon to “do more” with “less” or “not more” resources.
  • 6. Some In-house Counsel Functions:  Assess and manage risk exposure  New and changing frontlines and horizons for risk  Oversee and drive compliance  Laws, regulations, corporate policies, industry practices, ethical guidelines, etc.  Provide on-call advice and guidance to management and employees  Safeguard assets and property of the company  Foster employee training and education  Review/update polices and “rules of the road”  Provide strategic and planning advice  Manage outside counsel and in-house staff
  • 7. AND, ALONG THE WAY. . . WE MUST PROVIDE VALUABLE, SUBSTANTIVE, AND EXCELLENT LEGAL SERVICES TO OUR CLIENT!
  • 8. A few Tips to bring Peace of Mind amid the Daily Chaos YOU
  • 9. Educate Ourselves-- It’s our DUTY  We need to be fearless and we can not shy away from things that are foreign to us if they impact our client’s business or interests.  Rule 4-1.3 Commentary advises us not to procrastinate, because in doing so we do not uphold our obligation to be diligent.
  • 10. Does the “unknown” scare you? Do you consider all things “tech” unknown?
  • 11. Why “Tech” – Why Now? A few interesting facts:  facebook has approx. 250 MILLION users and growing . . .  Twitter is projected to have 26 MILLION users by end of 2010 -- currently has 14 MILLION in the US.  Some polls show that 45% of employers are using social media to screen potential employees (e.g. linkedin, Monster, facebook, youtube, twitter, etc.)  According to CareerBuilder.com, approx. 63% of employers who use social media have found objectionable content that has caused them NOT to hire a candidate.
  • 12. The Many Positives:  Tech and social media can be used effectively:  To communicate w/ employees  To communicate w/ the public & stakeholders  To recruit  To survey  To gain intelligence  To compete vigorously  Sell  Market & promote your brand  Create buzz
  • 13. Learning in the “e-world”  Attend seminars like this one or on-line !  Go on-line and take a dip into some of the social media and search sites – (linkedin; facebook; youtube; wikipedia; twitter; google; yahoo; etc.)  Confer with experts, technical and legal.  Sit in on meetings in your IT/tech, communications, marketing or other departments to become conversant.
  • 14. Access Subject Matter Experts  We cannot do it all. We do not serve our clients well by trying to do it all.  Some areas are too technical and require years of training and experience.  Use internal and external experts to expand your ability to deliver services.
  • 15. Protect “physical” assets:  Physical premises, hardware (e.g. servers, locations, storage, computers, networks, hand- held devices, etc.) are a vital part of the skeleton that supports the company.  Know what agreements, facilities, etc. you need to have in place.  Think about security of company assets, information, etc. and whether there are risks or weaknesses in the “skeleton.”
  • 16. Protect “IP” assets and rights:  Have the necessary contracts and licenses in place (vendors, developers, customers, etc.)  Do they secure all the rights, ownership or usage that you need?  Take steps to protect your rights – e.g. trademarks, patents, copyrights, etc.?
  • 17. A Good Compliance Program can help you sleep at night!  Written Policies and Procedures  Training  Management involvement  Infrastructure (hotline, committee, reporting mechanisms)  Monitoring and Enforcement  Updating and Ongoing Enhancement
  • 18. A few Particular Policies  Confidentiality  Takes on New Meaning in the “e-World”  Internet and Social Media Policies  Industry practices may differ from traditional legal views  E.g.Transparency  Permitted uses  Asset Protection incl. Asset Disposal  Recruiting and Hiring  Use of social media sites
  • 19. We can be proactive:  Consider Web searches of your company or establish search “alerts”  Disgruntled employee websites  News sites  Blogger and advocacy sites  You may NOT always choose to respond – but it is good to know what is out there so you can be prepared  Support creative and value-focused uses of technology.
  • 20. Summary – In support of our ethical obligations:  EDUCATEOURSELVES  ACCESS SUBJECT MATTER EXPERTS  PROTECT PHYSICAL ASSETS  PROTECT “IP” ASSETS  HAVEWRITTEN POLICIES  Effective training and compliance  BE PROACTIVE  in defense and offense
  • 21. It’s a new world, with a lightning fast pace.