Thursday, March 14, 2013

Upcoming CLE for In-House Counsel

I am my firm's primary contact person for our relationship with the South Carolina Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel ("ACC-SC"), and we are planning an exciting continuing legal education ("CLE") seminar for this summer that I wanted to share with readers (especially if you are in-house and find your way to this site).  Planning this seminar has consumed a pretty good amount of my time, but I think it will be worthwhile.  I conferred with various members of the ACC-SC about topics of interest to them, "dos and don'ts," and how we can maximize the interest level of members.  (Make no mistake, I would love nothing more than to do a products-centric CLE, but the reality is that ACC-SC members covers a broad range of businesses, many of which are not involved with product manufacturing/distribution/sale). 

The result is that we have a CLE that should appeal to a broad range of practice areas and will be convenient for ACC-SC's members.  Unlike previous CLEs we have done for this group, we are going to do an in-person seminar in our Columbia office while simultaneously broadcasting the event live in our Greenville and Charleston offices. This will allow ACC-SC members to attend the event with little travel time, and it will enable them to ask questions of our attorneys in each location, in addition to networking with fellow ACC-SC members.  The CLE will run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the following locations:
Our attorneys will present the following CLE topics:
  • “Ethics and Professionalism in Mediating Your Case,” presented by Christian Stegmaier and Rebecca Halberg
  • “How Did You Arrive at that Number?  Objective and Quantitative Methods for Case Management and Evaluation,” presented by Brian Comer (yours truly)
  • “What’s Going on at the State House?  A Legislative Update from the 2013 Legislative Session,” presented by Jon Ozmint
  • “I Liked It When I Signed It, But I Don’t Like It Now – It Must Be Unconscionable,” presented by Joey McCue
  • “The Proactive Approach to Workers' Compensation Claims,” presented by Kristian Cross
I am excited about my piece of this seminar.  When I was fresh out of law school and beginning to practice, I recall speaking with a client about my evaluation of a case.  During the conversation, the client asked a fair question: "If we were to settle, what do you consider to be the settlement value, and how did you arrive at that number?"  I recall -- as a young(er) attorney -- not having a great answer: "Well, uh . . . I just thought about . . . uh . . . the injury, and you know this . . . uh . . . is a bad venue . . . and it just seems like a fair number."  The client was not very impressed, and it taught me a valuable lesson. 

Now, one of my guiding principles in my practice is "How am I adding value for this client?"  At the time of my client's question, I had no value-added methodology for evaluating a case.  However, since that time, I have developed various "tools" I use to evaluate cases based on research, quantitative analysis, and objective criteria.  Now, when I am posed with the same question, I can provide my client with a methodology that supports my evaluation and provides them with justification they can share internally with other decision-makers.  I have always wanted to put it together in a presentation, and this CLE affords me the opportunity.

So, if you practice in-house and want three hours of "meaty" CLE credit, I invite you to attend our CLE at one of our sites.  It is free to in-house counsel, but you must register to attend.  For more information and to RSVP, please contact Keely Yates at the ACC-SC Chapter office, 803-252-1087.

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