ACC Small Law Department June 2018 Newsletter
Message from the Chair  
Annual Meeting Update  
SLD Virtual Programs  
Wellness Focus  
SLD Contributors to The Docket  
From Our Sponsor  
MICRO-NETWORK with your fellow SLD members!  
On the SLD Webpage  
All About You  
Have an Idea?  
Virtual Library
Renew Your Membership
Update Your Records
Upcoming ACC Programs
Search Back Issues

Updates from ACC Networks

Message from the Chair
Sherie Edwards

Hi there!

I cannot believe it’s almost Summer, can you? This year is flying by so quickly—it seems like we were just plodding through snow and icy temps (well, in some parts of the U.S. we were shoveling snow just a few weeks ago!), and now it’s time to think of graduations, vacations, and hoping the air conditioner makes it through the hot temps. I love the energy that summertime brings, whether it be time at the beach, perusing the farmer’s markets for all sorts of great fruits, veggies,  and other goodies, or just sitting on the back porch or at a sidewalk café with family and good friends. 

I grew up in Philly and spent summers at the Jersey shore, Wildwood and Toms River to be precise.  The smell of Coppertone brings me back to the beach, listening to my tinny transistor radio play “This Guy’s In Love” by Herb Alpert and “Dance to the Music” by Sly and the Family Stone on WFIL.  My favorite summer treat was (and still is) Lemon Italian Water Ice. What is your favorite summertime memory? You know the drill—the first 10 folks to send me an answer receive a $10 Starbucks card so you can treat yourself to a frosty Frappuccino. Can’t wait to hear from you!

I hope you will find time to slow down just a bit, savor the joys of summer, and soak up all the goodness that is summertime. For our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, enjoy the crisper coolness of your Fall and Winter. “See you” on the next call!

All the Best,

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Annual Meeting Update

The Annual Meeting is October 21-24 in Austin, Texas and is always a great time for CLE, networking, and catching up with friends! SLD is sponsoring the following sessions:

Session 106: Insurance Basics and the Interplay between Insurance Requirements/Coverage and Indemnity Obligations in Vendor Contracts

Session 201: Crisis Response – How to Avoid Complete Chaos in the Midst of a Meltdown

Session 307: Small Law Department Metrics, Best Practices and Growing Pains in a Legal Department

Session 402: Creating and Implementing an Effective Cyber Security Table Top Exercise

Session 903: Advanced Contracting Workshop

Annual Meeting isn’t all about education—and SLD is at the forefront with networking opportunities!  Our Annual Hobnob is on Sunday, October 21, and Meritas will host a reception on Tuesday, October 23 at 7:30 pm. Date and location for both will be announced soon. Check the SLD website for more information. If you aren’t already registered, why are you waiting?  

Click here for details and to register!
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SLD Virtual Programs

May 16, 2018: Ethics and Privilege Issues Relating to Company Email, Metadata, and Social Media, a webinar sponsored by Meritas.

June 14, 2018: The Pros and Cons of Paid Time Off, presented by Trishanda Treadwell from Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs LLP (a Meritas firm).

July 12, 2018International Commercial Arbitration, presented by Irvin Schein from Minden Gross LLP in Toronto, Canada (a Meritas firm).

ICYMI: SLD had some great LQH presentations the past few months!  Past LQH (webcasts also) are archived on the SLD webpage.  Here are the links to the LQH from March, April, and May:

MarchFighting Back Against Anonymous Defamation on the Internet  (LQH)

Dealing with International Contracts: The Cost Saving Edition (webinar)

April: Drafting & Utilizing an Effective Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan (LQH)

May: TRO’s in Non-Compete Cases:  A Mock Hearing (LQH)
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Wellness Focus

Summer is a great time to go to the farmer’s markets and try some new produce while picking up tried and true favorites. Not quite sure what to do with those heirloom tomatoes, zucchini and summer squash, or all those peaches you bought at a roadside stand? Although I am a cookbook junkie (my cookbook collection is even more expansive than my handbag collection!), I have lately been turning to Pinterest for inspiration and saving recipes and fitness ideas to my boards. You can find my boards by searching Sherie Edwards. Studies have shown how important fruits and vegetables are in our diet due to the micronutrients they contain. So fill your plate with color and enjoy the best of summer!
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SLD Contributors to The Docket

Are you a subject matter expert? Then why not share your expertise with your fellow SLD members? ACC staffers make it easy to be an author.  

For more information, please contact Elyse Beidner Join these SLD members who had articles published in the December 2017 and January/February 2018 issues of the ACC Docket:

March 2018

Whitnie Wiley, Voices, It All Starts with a Dream

Mary Delahunty, Voices, Outline, Outline, Outline

Greg Stern, Tech Toolbox, IT Captives

Rob Falk, Lawyering at a Distance:  How to Work Effectively with Remote Clients

Stephen Roth, m2m Spotlight, The “King” of Law Department Management

Sherie Edwards, m2m Committee Spotlight, Small Law Department

To read the articles from the March 2018  ACC Docket go here (make sure you log in first!). 

April 2018

Whitnie Wiley, Voices, Reading is Fundamental

Jeff Wheeler, Voices, My Rainy Days

Greg Stern, Tech Toolbox, A Resume Requirement:  Technology Skills

Axel Viaene and Elizabeth Bille, Panelists for #MeToo:  The Global Impact of the Sexual Harassment Movement

To read the articles from the April ACC Docket go here (make sure you log in first!).


May 2018

Whitnie Wiley, Voices, Identity vs Habits

Maryrose Delahunty, Voices, The Road Less Traveled

Gregory Stern, Tech Toolbox, Technology & Litigation Management

Martin Langelier, profiled in Canadian Briefings

Beverly Tompkins, Ten Steps to Keep Your Client Out of Court

To read the articles from the April ACC Docket go here (make sure you log in first!).
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From Our Sponsor

Top Trends Driving Demand for Independent Law Firm Networks

Leaders of small and mid-sized companies from every sector understand the importance of nimbleness, cost efficiency and results. These values have propelled growth and given these businesses advantages over larger corporations with deeply ingrained, legacy approaches to conducting business that slow progress and keep expenses high.

True to their entrepreneurial spirit, these leaders, including in-house counsel, are choosing more innovative ways to meet their legal needs over the traditional large law firm model. Here are the trends driving their choice:

Paying for only what’s needed

In-house attorneys at growth companies manage a wide breadth of needs – from employment issues to patents to new market expansion – yet don’t want to incur the cost of keeping a large law firm idling on  standby. Instead, they are building relationships with outside resources that understand their business, yet only engage  in very specific projects across a wide spectrum of issues and geographies. This is the reason why networks of independent law firms exist.

Demanding cost transparency

Traditional fee structures are being challenged.  In-house counsel is interested in understanding more closely why fees are set and what they’re made of. Working with smaller law firms as part of a network gives greater sightline into costs, especially when the network has established processes clearly delineate fees, even if a project involves multiple member firms across the world.

Interest in working with others who share entrepreneurial values and experience

Entrepreneurs respect and learn from other entrepreneurs. Legal networks are  made up of business founders and owners who have built their companies from the ground up.

Need to understand how to come into a new geography

Growth businesses can “go global” easier than ever before, however “getting it right” remains complex. Independent law firms are comprised of attorneys who are rooted in their own unique cultures, because they’ve gained experience, live and work there. Local counsel applies that insight to help clients not only transact legally in their regions but conduct business overall.

library of legal guides for investing and expanding in Canada, and Asian and South American countries, available at, is an example of how the network’s member law firms located inside each country provide value-added guidance.

The expectation that technology is used for the client’s greatest benefit

As technology deploys within the legal industry, it’s displacing manual, labor-intensive activities that are the billable foundations on which large law firms  were built. Independent law firms skew more toward the advisory model. They are smaller practices of senior attorneys who are very focused on advising clients, a service that technology can never replace. Technology at independent firms is used to enable 24/7 global collaboration with network counterparts on behalf of clients.

Valuing relationships with individuals,  not firms

Entrepreneurs want to grow their companies with people they trust. Increasingly they are less likely to use a large law firm for its brand name. When they need counsel with a specialty or in a certain geography, they want to get a referral from a trustworthy referral source that can make not only a professional but a personal recommendation, whether they be two states away or across the world.

Small and mid-sized businesses have always challenged the status quo and thrived on disruption. Their way of doing business has changed the legal landscape and is bringing networks of independent law firms more clearly into focus as the answer to their growth aspirations.  

Meritas, the global legal network, offers ACC Small Law Department network members complimentary 30-minute sessions of courtesy advice from any one of its more than 170 law firms. Sessions may include a general discussion on the current status of law or other legal issues that do not require research time by a Meritas lawyer. To get to know a lawyer with relevant experience and schedule a session, contact Kim Heinrich at or +1 612.604.0083.
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MICRO-NETWORK with your fellow SLD members!

Blogging not your thing? Try meeting up with a few local SLD members to discuss issues frustrating your department. The smaller environment might foster an opportunity to have a more candid conversation about great successes or obstacles you are experiencing. 

Please contact to find out if anyone is currently meeting in your area or how you can initiate a lunch near you. 
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On the SLD Webpage

The SLD webpage is a treasure trove of resources curated for you, the Small Law Department practitioner. On the webpage you’ll find information about recent eGroup threads (if you have a question about how to do something, chances are someone else has the same question and other members have sage advice to share), upcoming SLD Legal Quick Hits, and resources developed by and for the SLD committee. This is also where you will find links to archived resources such as Legal Quick Hits and Virtual Roundtables so that you can view them at a place and time convenient to you.  If you can’t find what you’re looking for, let us know.  

That might lead to a new resource for all of us!  You can find the webpage here:
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All About You

Have you recently been promoted or changed jobs? Have you been honored by a professional or civic organization?  Do you have a blog that other members would find interesting? Then let us know about it—this is your time to be in the spotlight!  

Contact us at, or so we can share your news with other SLD members.
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Have an Idea?

Let us know what topics you’d like to see in our webcasts, Quick Hits, and resources, tell us how we’re doing, and let us know if YOU want to become more active on the Network.  

Email; we want to hear from you!
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