Nov 07 2019

The “Valley of the Sun” became the valley of attorneys last month when Phoenix hosted the Association of Corporate Counsel’s 2019 Annual Meeting. Hundreds of attorneys and legal industry professionals attended the four-day event, including an impressive delegation from Womble Bond Dickinson.

In addition to being a sponsor of the conference, Womble Bond Dickinson is a long-time collaborator with ACC, which is a premier global bar association dedicated to the professional development of in-house counsel. The ACC’s annual meeting provides attorneys an opportunity to network as well as attend dozens of presentations and panel discussions on the biggest issues facing in-house legal departments. Several Womble Bond Dickinson attorneys were featured speakers on those panels this year.

Alison Bost, who is in-house counsel for the firm, and Kevin Hall, Managing Partner of the firm’s Columbia, SC office, discussed the significance of the Mansfield Rule and why organizations should look for law firms participating in the diversity initiative when considering outside counsel. The Mansfield Rule is an independent certification program focused on improving the number of women and diverse attorneys in law firm leadership positions. You can learn more about the Mansfield Rule and Womble Bond Dickinson’s participation here .

Several panels and events at the conference highlighted the importance of diversity in the legal profession. Kristin Walker-Probst, a trial lawyer based in Womble Bond Dickinson’s Irvine, Calif. office, led a roundtable discussion about the power of women mentoring and sponsoring other women in their careers.

Ted Claypoole presented on the legal challenges artificial intelligence has the potential to create regarding privacy issues. Claypoole is a veteran privacy and cybersecurity lawyer who has published volumes on the subjects. In collaboration with the American Bar Association, he recently edited “The Law of Artificial Intelligence and Smart Machines: Understanding A.I. and the Legal Impact,” a collection of articles and essays by legal thought leaders. More information about that book can be found here .

The large crowd drawn to hear Jim Kearney and his co-presenters tackle the legal landmines of multijurisdictional export controls was a perfect illustration of just how important the global marketplace has become for companies of all sizes. Kearney shared his insights on several key points including managing risks and navigating conflicting regulatory and enforcement priorities. 

The firm’s podcast, In-house Roundhouse, also drew a fair bit of attention at the conference. This was the third year Womble Bond Dickinson litigator and podcast host Mark Henriques recorded episodes of the show at the ACC meeting. Henriques recorded 13 episodes from the show floor, each featuring in-house counsel sharing their experiences and tips on key issues facing in-house attorneys. In-house Roundhouse will be rolling out those episodes over the next several weeks. Those and previous episodes can be found here.

The rest of the Womble Bond Dickinson delegation included attorneys Barry Herman, Kevin Lyn, Cathy Hinger, Brad De Vore, Dwane Bryant, and Joe Tirone and well as Tracy Walsh and Simon Watts of Womble Bond Dickinson (UK).

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