FIHA – Former In-House Attorneys. An article, in GC Mid-Atlantic, Nov. 2006 at 16, extols the virtues of law departments retaining “Former In-House Attorneys”: FIHA. That acronym hasn’t caught on yet, let alone its pronunciation (fee-ah?, fi-hah?), but the points made in the article make sense. Once you’ve been on the inside you’ll do better outside.
Law firms in a consultant’s role. Cozen O’Connor, a Philadelphia-based law firm has an Enterprise Risk Practice Group. Its chair, Lori Nugent, mentions in Met. Corp. Counsel, June 2006 at 29, that the Group was “retained to evaluate a company’s handling of litigation in the aftermath of a large punitive damages award. We provided specific recommendations, which the company adopted.” That sounds like a classic consulting project (See my post of Oct. 12, 2006 on law firms as consultants.).
Long-tenured general counsel. While one in-house lawyer served a single law department 70 years (See my post of Aug. 27, 2005 about Edith Spivak.), it is similarly impressive that Bernard Kleiman served as general counsel to the United Steelworkers of America for 32 years. According to the NY Times, Dec. 16, 2006 at C10, I. W. Abel, the union’s president, named him in 1965the union’s general counsel. Kleiman, who died Dec. 13, 2006, stepped down from the general counsel’s position more than three decades later, in 1997, but even then remained special counsel to the union’s president. He officially retired in 2006, after 41 years.