The Corporate Counsel Section of the New York State Bar Association is pleased to welcome Section members and visitors. The Section sponsors CLE, networking and other events and offers LinkedIn and Facebook pages where members can reach out to each other with questions and advice.
Welcome From The Chair
I am honored and privileged to be the Chair of the Corporate Counsel Section for 2019. It has been my pleasure to serve on the Section’s Executive Committee since 1999, and I was first Chair fourteen years ago. Why have I volunteered my time to serve this Section for so many years? An easy answer, it’s all about the people – the members of the Executive Committee, the members of the “Big Bar” that we work with, the law students we mentor and find internships for, and the Section members we meet at our CLE programs and other activities.
Who are we? We are 1,500+ members strong, made up of 55% in-house counsel, 33% in private practice, with the remainder law students hoping to end up with in an in-house position and others who have a general interest in the in-house corporate practice. Approximately 65% of us practice in New York, though many live or work in surrounding states, and there is a 14% international contingent. We have almost as many members who practice in large law departments or firms as those who practice as one of five or less attorneys and just as many who are solo practitioners. From an age breakdown, our members are equally spread among the different age bands. The majority of our members have been in practice for more than 20 years. By gender, men make up approximately 60% of our membership. If we are not you, we can be you.
What are the membership benefits? The quarterly subscription to INSIDE, interesting CLE programming for which you receive a discounted registration rate, free lunchtime webinar informational briefings and access to the Section’s Committees.
The editor of INSIDE is the Section’s Immediate Past Chair, Elizabeth Shampnoi. Liz always compiles interesting articles. The Spring/Summer 2019 issue contained articles ranging from ADR and diversity, assessing conflict, sanctions, implications of CCPA on business and choice of law & forum selection clauses. If you have an idea for submission, please contact Liz directly ([email protected]).
The Section committees include INSIDE/Publications, CLE and Meetings, Diversity, Membership, Pro Bono, Technology and New Media, and the Diversity Internship Program. Our committees are always looking for new members. Please reach out to me or our Section’s Liaison, Sally Bratten, if you are interested in becoming involved.
I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight one of our Section’s gemstones, the Kenneth G. Standard Diversity Internship Program. The program, in its 14th year, is named to honor the NYSBA Past President who has shown a lifetime commitment to initiatives aimed at increasing diversity in the legal profession. The Section works with various New York State law schools to select diverse law students to apply for summer internships in corporate law departments with New York State companies or organizations. This year the annual reception was held on July 17th and honored Ken, the thirteen interns (from nine New York State law schools) and the nine host corporate organizations. This was the second time the Section placed an intern through the New York State Bar Foundation in memory of past Section Chair Jana Springer Behe, following Jana’s untimely passing in 2017. A wonderful time was had by all. The reception was held and hosted at the midtown Manhattan office of and by Pryor Cashman, LLP. There were a number of dignitaries and judges in attendance, led by the Honorable Jenny Rivera, an Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
Let me provide you with a flavor of the programming the Section produces or co-produces. In November 2018 the Section put on its bi-annual CLE Ethics for Corporate Counsel, which was well attended and received. In December 2018 we conducted a free luncheon webinar entitled “Blockchain and Smart Contracts 101”. At the Annual Meeting, in January 2019, the Section partnered with the Dispute Resolution Section to produce an afternoon of CLE under the title “ADR in the Boardroom and the Headlines: Not Fake News”. The following week, we partnered with the NY Women’s County Bar Association in presenting “Breaking Through Bias to Achieve Rainmaking and Leadership Success”. On October 17th the Section held our Eighth Corporate Counsel Institute, at the offices of Kelley, Drye & Warren in midtown Manhattan. The Program included plenary sessions updating issues surrounding labor & employment law, start-up companies, ethics for corporate counsel, cyber security & data protection, diversity & inclusion and intellectual property. We held several free lunchtime webinar informational briefings on topics including Strategic and Pragmatic Considerations for the Workplace in the #MeToo Era, the EEOC Pay Data Rule and Alternative Fee Arrangements. The Section also sponsored a CLE program entitled “Handling Law Enforcement Investigations as Corporate Counsel” and co-sponsored one with the Dispute Resolution and Commercial & Federal Litigation Sections on Mediation Advocacy. As we end the Section’s year, we are pleased to announce that we are co-sponsoring a CLE Program with the Antitrust Law Section at the Annual Meeting, which will be held on Thursday, January 30, 2020. Please visit www.nysba.org/am2020 to view the agenda and register for the event.
Thank you for perusing the Corporate Counsel Section’s webpage and learning more about us. If you are not a member, I hope you will consider joining us. The cost is a mere $30 per year, in addition to your annual NYSBA membership dues. If you have any questions/comments for me or want to volunteer to became active in a Committee or other activity, please contact me at [email protected]. I look forward to hearing from you.
Mitchell F. Borger
Watch a Message from Mitchell Borger here.
Meet The Chair
Mitchell F. Borger is a partner in the midtown Manhattan law firm of Ellenoff Grossman Schole LLP, practicing in their Labor & Employment Group. Mitch was formerly Vice President, Assistant General Counsel for Macy’s, Inc., the iconic department store chain. For more than 30 years, Mitch has practiced in-house, starting with the NY Power Authority, United Merchants & Manufacturers, Inc. and from 1995 until May 2019 with Macy’s. He started his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the Bronx District Attorney. During his time at Macy’s, Mitch counseled clients in the areas of litigation supervision, store-line operational, loss prevention and employment issues. The key employment issues include defense of discrimination claims, reductions in force, training and alternative dispute resolution – with an emphasis on arbitration programs. In addition, he spent six years managing Macy’s in-house litigation team and seven plus years as a manager of the Company’s employment legal practice. His proudest Macy’s work involves participating in 23 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parades, including the last 12 as its In-House Legal Clownsel helping to supervise 900+ clowns. In 2017, Mitch was awarded the Parade’s Distinguished Service Award.
Mitch is the current Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Corporate Counsel Section. He was also its 2005 Chair and is a twenty-year member of its Executive Committee. In 2010-11, he served as a member of NYSBA’s Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct. The next year, Mitch chaired a Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Working Group which issued the “Report on Faster, Cheaper, Smarter Litigation Practices”. Mitch has been a past CLE speaker on topics such as emerging issues in employment law, employment arbitration, consumer racism, corporate public relations in the electronic age, litigation management and retail loss prevention training.
Mitch is a graduate of SUNY Oneonta and Albany Law School of Union University.
Contact the Corporate Counsel Section LiaisonTo learn more about this Section, please contact Sally K. Bratten
Inside (Corporate Counsel Section Publication) provides updates on Section activities, recent cases, and articles about current issues. Topics of past articles include ethics, privilege, corporate criminal liability and internal investigations. Inside is published by the Corporate Counsel Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.
Inside is published as a benefit for members of the Corporate Counsel Section and is copyrighted by the New York State Bar Association. The copying, reselling, duplication, transferring, reproducing, reusing, retaining or reprinting of this publication is strictly prohibited without permission. © New York State Bar Association. All rights reserved. ISSN 0736-0150 (print) ISSN 1933-8597 (online)
Inside (the Newsletter of the Corporate Counsel Section) encourages article submissions on topics of interest to members of the Section. Writing an article for a NYSBA Section publication is a great way to get your name out in the legal community and advertise your knowledge. Our authors are respected state-wide for their legal expertise in such areas as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, employer’s breach of a computer system, vertical price restraints, and ethical considerations of corporate counsel.
MCLE credit may also be earned for legal-based writing directed to an attorney audience upon application to the CLE Board. NYSBA Guidelines for Obtaining MCLE Credit for Writing as well as a Publication Credit Application are available.
If you have written an article and would like to have it considered for publication in Inside, please send it in electronic document format (pdfs are NOT acceptable), along with biographical information to:
Elizabeth J. Shampnoi
Shampnoi Dispute Resolution and Management Services, Inc.
76 Hancock Place
Thornwood, NY 10594
Corporate Counsel Section Committee
KENNETH G. STANDARD DIVERSITY INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
This committee is responsible for administering and managing all aspects of the Section’s Diversity Internship program, named in honor of former NYSBA President Kenneth G. Standard. The section works with various New York State law schools each year to select several law students from an under-represented group to apply for summer internships in corporate law departments with New York State based companies or organizations. This committee has also set up a mentoring program for internship alumni.
2019 is the 14th year of the Corporate Counsel Section’s Kenneth G. Standard Internship Program, which focuses on identifying and supporting in-house internship opportunities for law students from a diverse range of backgrounds. The program is named in honor of former Association president, Kenneth Standard, and his commitment to initiatives aimed at increasing diversity in the legal profession. Through its Diversity Internship Committee, the Corporate Counsel Section is one of a very few number of sections that has produced a program of this nature. The Section provides in its budget, funds for half of each student’s salary, but many of the host companies over the years fully provide for the students’ salaries. Due to the generosity of the host companies, more students each year are able to participate in the program. This year students are working with in-house counsel offices: Alliance-Bernstein, Chubb, Con Edison, Pepsi Co., Salesforce, Urban Justice and Visiting Nurse Service of New York are hosting interns from Albany Law School, Cardozo, Brooklyn Law School and St. John’s University School of Law. View the 2019 Kenneth G. Standard Diversity Internship Program Brochure here.
Member Perspectives on the Corporate Counsel Section
- View Past Chair Natalie Sulimani’s perspective here
- View Yamicha Stephenson’s perspective here
- View Member Barbara Levi’s perspective here
- A Message from Mitchell Borger
- A Message from Sarah Feingold
- A Message from 2014 Past Chair Thomas Reed
Legal Links and Resources
Commercial Division Reports
Pro Bono Services
- Press release with links regarding NYS rule to allow registered corporation counsel to provide pro bono services.
Corporate Law and the S.E.C.
- U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
- The SEC’s EDGAR database of corporate information
- The Legal Information Institute: Corporations Law Materials
Entertainment Law and the Arts
- New York State Public Service Commission
- Public Utilities Reports, Inc. (PUR)
- The U.S. Government Services Administra on’s Information on Public Utilities
- Con Edison Home Page
- National Grid Home Page
Health, Drugs and Food
Telecommunications, Media and Advertising
- National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA)
- U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- The FCC’s Recent Judicial Opinions
Pro Bono Information
The Corporate Counsel section has a model program for corporations, information on opportunities for pro bono work, and a report adopted by the NYSBA House of Delegates
NYSBA supports the authorization of in-house counsel who are registered in New York State to provide pro bono assistance in New York as long as they are admitted in at least one U.S. jurisdiction.
In June 2012, the NYSBA Corporate Counsel Section issued a report recommending amendments to state court rules that would allow in-house counsel, registered in New York, who are admitted elsewhere in the U.S. to perform pro bono services in New York. Specifically, the report urges amendments to New York’s Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law, 22 NYCRR Part 522.
The NYSBA Executive Committee and NYSBA House of Delegates approved the Section’s report.