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Where changes in the law affect law-department management

At the core of this blog are management issues, but every now and then the world of substantive law impinges on those issues (See my post of Oct. 24, 2005 about an academic paper that covers some of the intersection.). You could hold the view that but for the underlying substantive law, law departments and their management concerns would not exist at all. But my view assumes a legal infrastructure, and what I write of here has to do with legal developments that ricochet and influence staff, procedures and costs.

Thus this blog has touched on how changes in patent law might affect staffing and spending (See my post of May 21, 2007 about Supreme Court decisions.) or electronic filing might change trademark processes (See my post of July 31, 2005 about European trademarks and electronic filing.). The recent changes in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure which affect e-discovery have changed how law departments operate.

Conflict-of-interest ramifications appear with some regularity (See my post of July 16, 2007.); there has been mention of malpractice risks of in-house counsel (See my posts of Dec. 20, 2005; Oct. 24, 2005; and April 15, 2007; as well as Nov. 10, 2007 on general counsel retaining counsel to protect them.) and on non-compete restrictions applied to in-house lawyers (See my post of Feb. 4, 2006 about New Jersey.).

Attorney-client privilege is another substantive legal field that has attracted several mentions on this blog (See my post of Oct. 24, 2007.) as have ethics rules that pertain to local counsel (See my post of Feb. 18, 2007.). Offshoring raises substantive legal issues and certainly affects internal functions (See my post of Feb. 18, 2007 on a New York State Bar Association ruling; and June 11, 2007 #3 with seven references on offshoring.).