Avoiding the 10 Major Sources of Legal Risk for Associations ASAE & The Center Annual Meeting, Toronto Jerry Jacobs, Pills...
10 Major Sources Of Association Legal Risk <ul><li>1.  Entity/Personal Risk </li></ul><ul><li>2.  Membership Access </li><...
1.  Entity v. Personal Risk For Association Volunteers & Staff <ul><li>Mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Bad judgment </li></ul><...
2.  Membership/Access <ul><li>Voluntary withdrawal </li></ul><ul><li>Outside definition </li></ul><ul><li>Nonpayment of du...
3.  Price/Fee Setting <ul><li>Agreement Among “Competitors” </li></ul><ul><li>Restraint of Trade </li></ul><ul><li>Raise/L...
4.  Boycotting <ul><li>Agreement Among “Competitors” </li></ul><ul><li>Limit/Exclude/Control Competitor/Vendor/Patients </...
5.  Self-Regulation <ul><li>Codes of ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Product standards </li></ul><ul><li>Product certification </...
6.  Damage/Injury <ul><li>Standards/certification </li></ul><ul><li>Safety publications </li></ul><ul><li>Member alerts </...
7.  Defamation <ul><li>Publications </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Chapters </li...
8.  Intellectual Property Infringement <ul><li>Associated with product or service thru use </li></ul><ul><li>Rights w/o re...
9.  Governance <ul><li>Sarbanes-Oxley  & Form 990 </li></ul><ul><li>  - Destruction of documents </li></ul><ul><li>- Retal...
10.  Vehicles for Managing Legal Risk <ul><li>Staff and Volunteer Education </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Compliance Policy </li...
Jerald A. Jacobs Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Washington, D.C. [email_address]
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Avoiding The 10 Major Sources Of Legal Risk For Associations

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Associations are uniquely exposed to legal risks that are not always intuitive or obvious. Join us as we identify the principal high-risk areas for associations, look for ways to reduce or eliminate risk, and determine how to prioritize legal risk to associations so that compliance efforts can be focused where most needed.

Jerald Jacobs, partner, Pillsbury Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman LLP, general counsel, ASAE & The Center for Association

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business
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Avoiding The 10 Major Sources Of Legal Risk For Associations

  1. 1. Avoiding the 10 Major Sources of Legal Risk for Associations ASAE & The Center Annual Meeting, Toronto Jerry Jacobs, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP August 16, 2009
  2. 2. 10 Major Sources Of Association Legal Risk <ul><li>1. Entity/Personal Risk </li></ul><ul><li>2. Membership Access </li></ul><ul><li>3. Price/Fee Setting </li></ul><ul><li>4. Boycotting </li></ul><ul><li>5. Self-Regulation </li></ul><ul><li>6. Damages/Injury </li></ul><ul><li>7. Defamation </li></ul><ul><li>8. IP Infringement </li></ul><ul><li>9. Governance </li></ul><ul><li>10. Managing Risk </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1. Entity v. Personal Risk For Association Volunteers & Staff <ul><li>Mistakes </li></ul><ul><li>Bad judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Mere affiliation </li></ul><ul><li>Reliance on Experts </li></ul><ul><li>Gross negligence/fraud </li></ul><ul><li>Personal/corporate </li></ul><ul><li>Conspiracy </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond authority </li></ul>No Personal Liability Personal Liability
  4. 4. 2. Membership/Access <ul><li>Voluntary withdrawal </li></ul><ul><li>Outside definition </li></ul><ul><li>Nonpayment of dues </li></ul><ul><li>Violates code of ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Unreasonable criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistently applied </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Bias </li></ul>Legitimate Exclusion Suspicious Exclusion Non-member/supplier access
  5. 5. 3. Price/Fee Setting <ul><li>Agreement Among “Competitors” </li></ul><ul><li>Restraint of Trade </li></ul><ul><li>Raise/Lower/Stabilize Prices/Fees </li></ul><ul><li>“ Agreement” Broadly Defined (even mere discussions can be dangerous) </li></ul><ul><li>Exceptions/Exemptions </li></ul>
  6. 6. 4. Boycotting <ul><li>Agreement Among “Competitors” </li></ul><ul><li>Limit/Exclude/Control Competitor/Vendor/Patients </li></ul><ul><li>“ Agreement” Broadly Defined </li></ul><ul><li>Exceptions/Exemptions </li></ul>
  7. 7. 5. Self-Regulation <ul><li>Codes of ethics </li></ul><ul><li>Product standards </li></ul><ul><li>Product certification </li></ul><ul><li>Professional certification </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Reasonable criteria </li></ul><ul><li>Fair procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Antitrust </li></ul><ul><li>Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Defamation </li></ul>Types of Programs Issues
  8. 8. 6. Damage/Injury <ul><li>Standards/certification </li></ul><ul><li>Safety publications </li></ul><ul><li>Member alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Educational offerings </li></ul><ul><li>Assuming a duty or responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Mis-managing the duty to cause damage/injury </li></ul>Programs to Watch Principles of Liability Note special insurance issues
  9. 9. 7. Defamation <ul><li>Publications </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Web site </li></ul><ul><li>Chapters </li></ul><ul><li>Disparaging statement </li></ul><ul><li>Person/firm/product </li></ul><ul><li>Statement is untrue </li></ul><ul><li>Exemption for governance </li></ul>Sources of Risk What is Defamation?
  10. 10. 8. Intellectual Property Infringement <ul><li>Associated with product or service thru use </li></ul><ul><li>Rights w/o registration </li></ul><ul><li>PTO registration </li></ul><ul><li>Association issues </li></ul><ul><li>On any created work </li></ul><ul><li>Acquired via creation </li></ul><ul><li>Work product </li></ul><ul><li>Fair use </li></ul><ul><li>LoC registration </li></ul>Trademarks Copyrights Note special web site exposure
  11. 11. 9. Governance <ul><li>Sarbanes-Oxley & Form 990 </li></ul><ul><li> - Destruction of documents </li></ul><ul><li>- Retaliation against whistleblowers </li></ul><ul><li>- Conflicts of Interest </li></ul><ul><li>- Executive compensation </li></ul><ul><li>- Joint ventures </li></ul>
  12. 12. 10. Vehicles for Managing Legal Risk <ul><li>Staff and Volunteer Education </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Compliance Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Top-Down Commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Indemnification </li></ul><ul><li>Liability Insurance </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Counsel </li></ul>
  13. 13. Jerald A. Jacobs Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Washington, D.C. [email_address]

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