Consultants

News & Analysis as of

A Southern District of New York Decision Adopts Narrow Views of Privilege Protection for Independent Contractors and...

Last week's Privilege Point described the Southern District of New York's prediction that the Second Circuit might reject the widely-accepted "functional equivalent" doctrine. Church & Dwight Co. Inc. v. SPD Swiss Precision...more

A Southern District of New York Decision Adopts Narrow Views of Privilege Protection for Independent Contractors and...

Not all recent Southern District of New York decisions have favored privilege protection in the corporate setting. In Church & Dwight Co. v. SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics, GmbH, No. 14-cv-585, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175552...more

California Expands the Duty of Professional Consultants

Professional consultants and sub-consultants provide essential services to a Project during its planning, design, construction, and acceptance. In some jurisdictions, they enjoy protections from liability for “economic...more

Fees and Expenses 2014: A Benchmarking Survey with pfm

Excerpt from Question 1: Your firm is visited by the SEC or state regulator for a routine regulatory examination and you enlist a law firm or consultant to help guide you through the process. Who pays the legal or...more

The DOJ Charges Another Individual With FCPA Violations

FCPA enforcement officials have repeatedly emphasized that a key focus is individuals who violate the Act. This week the Department of Justice announced the filing of a multi-count indictment against the owner of a privately...more

December 2014 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification Update

SUPPLIER OF INSTALLATION SERVICES FOR LARGE SATELLITE TV COMPANY CANNOT DISMISS IC MISCLASSIFICATION CLAIM BY INSTALLER. A federal district court in Mississippi last month denied cross-motions for summary judgment in an FLSA...more

Hiring Consultants

Technology companies receive services from a variety of individuals and often use consultants, either for marketing advice, for software development or for other discreet tasks. It’s important to be sure the consultants are...more

Consultants Indicted in Japan for Paying Bribes in Vietnam

Following on the heels of Japanese trading company Marubeni’s recent admission that it violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, again a Japanese company is in the crosshairs of anti-corruption regulators, but this...more

Does the Attorney-Client Privilege Protect Communications With A Company’s Outside Consultants?

A recent decision by the Massachusetts Land Court provides helpful guidance to clients who frequently rely on independent contractors such as brokers, project managers and public relations consultants to interface with their...more

When is a Consultant an Executive Officer? – SEC Brings Another Case

The SEC has instituted administrative proceedings against a registrant and others alleging that two individuals with prior law violations secretly controlled the operational and management decisions of the registrant while...more

Admission of Former Employees as Consultants under GAO Bid Protest Protective Orders

Tight deadlines apply to bid protests at GAO, including the admission of consultants under protective orders to provide technical, quantitative or other specialized knowledge useful to the litigation. GAO generally allows...more

Not Feeling It: Court Nixes Claim for Feng Shui Fees and Finds No Bad Faith

In Patel v. American Economy Ins. Co., — F. Supp. 2d. —, 2014 WL 1862211 (N.D. Cal. May 8, 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted the insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment,...more

Should Freelancers Take Code of Ethics Training Too?

I read this article on Fortune yesterday, titled “Why Freelancers Need a Code of Ethics.” We focus so much on companies and larger organizations that it never occurred to me that the freelance industry would be thinking about...more

The In-House Attorney-Client Privilege

It’s simple—the attorney-client privilege protects from discovery communications between a client and his or her lawyer. It’s challenging—the privilege applies to communications between (some) corporate representatives and...more

An Unforeseen Obstacle: Consultants Can Prevent Validity Challenges Through the Use of the Assignor Estoppel Doctrine

Imagine hiring a consultant who designs a process, only to find that the process infringes a patent invented by the same consultant owned by someone else. How much worse would it be if your use of that consultant prevented...more

IT Consulting Contract's Distinction With A Difference - Customers, Be Very Careful What You Ask For

One of the most important and fundamental aspects of every IT consulting agreement is also one of the greatest sources of legal misunderstanding and commercial risk for those transactions. Luckily, based on my experience,...more

Maintaining Privilege With Consultants - Practical Guide

Previously, we talked about the legal standards applied to claims of attorney-client privilege between a company's general counsel and outside consultants. Now, let's talk about practical tips for maintaining that...more

CalPERS Proposes Conflict Of Interest Disclosure Regulation

CalPERS recently gave notice that it is proposing to adopt a new rule requiring disclosure of conflicts of interests by consultants and external managers. Under the California Administrative Procedure Act, Cal. Gov’t Code §...more

Privileged Communications With Outside Consultants

Penn State University recently decided to waive attorney-client privilege and cooperate in the criminal prosecutions of certain former employees. Obviously, the former employees have attempted to assert privilege to exclude...more

Expert Permitted to Rely on Consultant Who Conducted "Survey" Even Though Consultant Was Not a "Survey" Expert

Zurn Industries, Inc. ("Zurn") moved to exclude Sloan Valve Company's ("Sloan") consultant witness and other testimony based on the consultant's investigation. The patent-at-issue, U.S. Patent No. 7,607,635, entitled "Flush...more

When and Why Clients Hire Consultants

A number of respected professionals have recently joined the ranks of consultants and each has asked in their own way for my advice on how to sell their services. There are as many opinions about this as there are...more

Is It Illegal to Have Distributors Earn Income by Referring Others?

We are often asked by executives starting a network marketing company if they can have consultants earn income by referring others and if it’s legal. Effectively, multilevel marketing is the sale of products through...more

When are Individuals Providing Services Considered Consultants for Disclosure Purposes?

FPPC Advises When Administrative Consultants Make Governmental Decisions, or Serve in a Staff Capacity and Participate in Governmental Decisions - A recent advice letter by the Fair Political Practices Commission...more

Department Of Labor Resets Persuader Rules Deadline For March 2014

In June 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new regulations that would significantly narrow the DOL’s interpretation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) that has been in force since...more

OCC Issues Guidance on Establishing Standards for Use of Independent Consultants in Connection with Compliance with Enforcement...

The OCC issued guidance establishing standards that it will use when requiring its supervised entities—national banks, federal savings associations or federal branches or agencies—to employ independent consultants to comply...more

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