On May 2, the New England Legal Foundation partnered with McDermott Will & Emery LLP to welcome over 50 attorneys to McDermott’s offices for a timely breakfast panel discussion about what, in the #MeToo era, company management, board members, and in-house counsel can and should do to prevent harassment in the workplace, protect employees involved in such incidents, and protect their companies from missteps that can lead to liability.
The panel discussion was introduced by NELF’s President, Martin J. Newhouse, and moderated by the Honorable Robert J. Cordy, partner at McDermott and Associate Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (2001-2016). The morning panelists were Melissa Brennan, Legal Counsel, Partners Healthcare, Krista Pratt, Employment Counsel, Biogen, as well as two other leading McDermott partners Maria Rodriguez and Sarah Walters.
The increased focus on issues of harassment and abuse is putting corporate America under a microscope. Business executives and board members—regardless of whether the entity they serve is private, public or charitable—must adjust the way they approach the issue of harassment in the workplace and actively respond to allegations of misconduct. Recent examples demonstrate that no industry sector is immune to the problem. This is no longer just a matter for the HR department—it requires focus and corporate action at the General Counsel and Board levels. The tone must be set at the top. The adequacy of compliance programs and the corporate response to allegations of harassment both past and present has become critical in the marketplace as well as in the courts. Indeed, in addition to high profile examples of media reports alone destroying corporate reputations, a recent decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Court (Gyulakian v. Lexus of Watertown, Inc. ), has made it clear that a corporate failure to take sufficient remedial action (including a thorough investigation) after having been notified of potentially harassing conduct in the workplace can subject the company to punitive, as well as compensatory, damages.
The panel on May 2 addressed these issues in the context of the latest developments in response to the #MeToo movement, with a particular focus on how a combination of experienced employment, white collar and SEC practitioners can save a company time, money, resources, and most importantly its reputation in the marketplace. The panelists provided practical advice and guidance with regard to, first, preventing workplace harassment and abuse and, second, how best to deal with such incidents so as to protect both the employees involved and their employer.
The New England Legal Foundation held its fourth annual John G.L. Cabot Award Dinner at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. The evening's guest of honor was Brent L. Henry, Vice President and General Counsel (ret.) of Partners HealthCare System, Inc.
Cocktail Reception ($20,000)
Ernst & Young LLP
Gold Sponsor ($15,000)
Goodwin Procter LLP
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo
Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP
Silver Sponsorship ($10,000)
Bronze Sponsorship ($5,000)
Boston Red Sox
Choate Hall & Stewart LP
Conn Kavanaugh Rosenthal Peisch & Ford LLP
Donoghue Barett & Signal PC
Eversource Service Co.
Faber Daeufer & Itrato PC
Foley Hoag LLP
Hamel Marcin Dunn Reardon & Shea, PC
Hinckley Allen & Snyder LLP
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Holtz & Reed LLP
Littler Mendelson, P.C.
Manion, Gaynor & Manning
Morgan, Brown & Joy, LLP
Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Morrison Mahoney LLP
Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Partners HealthCare System, Inc.
Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Robins Kaplan LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Sloane and Walsh, LLP
Verrill Dana LLP
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
Upland Advisory LLC
Half Table ($2,500)
Goulston & Storrs
McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Pierce Atwood LLP
Biogen Idec, Inc.
Bowditch & Dewey LLP
Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP
Charles River Associates
DiCicco, Gulam & Company
First Republic Bank
Fish & Richardson
Foley & Lardner, LLP
Hemenway & Barnes LLP
Holland & Knight LLP
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Locke Lord LLP
Massachusetts Medical Society
Santamarina y Steta, S.C.
Serafini, Darling & Correnti, LLP
Sherin and Lodgen LLP
Sidley Austin LLP
Brown Rudnick LLP
The Impact of the Supreme Judicial Court's March 6, 2017 Decision in IBEW Local NO. 129 V. Tucci (Spring Breakfast Meeting 2017)
NEW ENGLAND LEGAL FOUNDATION and
ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES OF MASSACHUSETTS
invite you to attend their
Spring Breakfast Program
Wednesday, May 3, 2017; 7:30-9:30 A.M.
Boston College Club, 100 Federal Street, Boston, Massachusetts
THE IMPACT OF THE SUPREME JUDICIAL COURT’S MARCH 6, 2017, DECISION IN IBEW LOCAL NO. 129 V. TUCCI
About the Program
In its seminal decision on March 6, 2017, regarding EMC’s merger with Dell, IBEW Local No. 129 v. Tucci, the Supreme Judicial Court clarified the question of directors’ fiduciary duty under Massachusetts corporate law and resolutely distinguished the law of Massachusetts in this area from the law of Delaware. At the heart of the case was the legal question whether directors of a Massachusetts publicly traded corporation, in addition to the duty they owed to the corporation, also owed a separate fiduciary duty directly to the shareholders. In its decision, the Court affirmed that directors of a publicly traded corporation owe a single fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the corporation, and in doing so may consider its various constituents’ interests, but have no separate duty to act solely in the interest of its shareholders. The Court, for the first time, also clearly distinguished the fiduciary duty owed by directors in that context from shareholder-based duties owed in close corporations and in majority shareholder controlled corporations. Our panelists will discuss the decision itself, its impact upon the development of Massachusetts’ distinct body of corporate law, and whether, in light of this decision, companies currently doing business or starting up in Massachusetts should consider incorporating or re-incorporating under Massachusetts law.
Moderator and Panelist:
There is no cost to attend this program, but seating is limited, so please reserve your place as soon as possible.
Please RSVP by return email (email@example.com) or by calling NELF at (617) 695-3660.
The New England Legal Foundation held its third annual John G.L. Cabot Award Dinner at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston. The evening's guest of honor was James F. Kelleher, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company
NEW ENGLAND LEGAL FOUNDATION
CEO Forum 2016 - Monday, December 5th
The Langham Hotel, Post Office Square, Boston
Reducing the Cost of Electricity in New England
James Messenger, Esquire, Gordon & Rees LLP
John A. Shope, Esquire, Foley Hoag LLP
About the topic:
Residents and commercial customers have long complained that New England has some of the highest retail prices for electricity in the country. At the same time, state legislatures and the federal government increasingly mandate the use of renewable or “clean” power, often at prices higher than those of legacy resources. Some advocate for additional natural gas pipelines and/or interstate electric transmission lines funded by ratepayers, others urge additional mandated renewable power, and yet others advocate letting the restructured and competitive wholesale market decide how New England gets its electricity without government intervention. At the same time, private companies, many here in New England, are developing exciting new technologies in such areas as distributed generation, energy storage, and computerized conservation. Our distinguished panel of experts in the field will discuss what the future holds and its implications for all electricity consumers in our region.
Our Moderator and Panelists on December 5 will be:
Joseph P. Kalt, Ford Foundation Professor (Emeritus) of International Political Economy & Co-Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development
Mr. Kalt is a Ford Foundation Professor of International Political Economy. His research focuses on exploring the economic implications and political origins of the government regulation of markets. He also heads the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Kalt has published widely in the area of natural resources economics and policy. He is the author of The Economics and Politics of Oil Price Regulation; Federal Policy in the Post-Embargo Era, Drawing the Line on Natural Gas Regulation (with F.C. Schuller); What Can Tribes Do? Strategies and Institutions in American Indian Economic Development (with Steven Cornell); and The State of the Native Nations (with the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development).
Dan Dolan, President, New England Power Generators Association
Mr. Dolan has served as President of the New England Power Generators Association (NEPGA) since the fall of 2011. NEPGA is the trade association representing 80% of the installed generation capacity in New England, approximately 25,000 megawatts. As President he is the principal spokesperson and oversees all activities for the largest trade association representing competitive electric generating companies in New England. Dolan leads a staff that represents the membership on electricity market rules development and expansion of wholesale electric competition and is a frequent speaker at legislative and regulatory hearings as well at industry conferences.
Zeryai P. Hagos, Director, U.S. Growth & Strategy, GE Power
Mr. Hagos is the Director of Growth & Strategy for GE's Power business in the U.S. region. Mr. Hagos’ responsibilities include leading in-region growth initiatives, translating expert knowledge of the power markets into GE’s business strategy and growing GE’s business with the large utility and independent power producer customers. Mr. Hagos has worked at GE for 13 years, including roles with GE's Energy Consulting business and Strategic Marketing for GE’s energy businesses. Mr. Hagos' responsibilities have included managing GE's long term power market forecast for the US region, advising banks, developers, power companies, governments, and GE on investment strategy including the impact of energy policy, emerging technologies and market design. Mr. Hagos has authored comments filed with state and federal governments for proposed energy policies and regulations.
Martin Honigberg, Chair, New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission
Mr. Honigberg was appointed Chair of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commision in December 2013. He Came to the Commission from Sulloway & Hollis, PLLC in Concord, where he practiced administrative law and litigation, and was head of the firm’s government relations group.
Suedeen Kelly, Former Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Washington, D.C.
Ms. Kelly is an internationally-recognized energy industry expert and former Commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Ms. Kelly’s knowledge of the national electricity and natural gas industries includes significant experience in infrastructure development and operation, market structures and financial products, emerging technologies, federal and state laws and regulations, impending policy changes and domestic/international market interrelations. She is an experienced litigator on energy and environmental matters in federal and state courts.
Gordon van Welie, Chief Executive Officer, Independent System Operator - New England
Mr. van Welie is President and Chief Executive Officer of ISO New England Inc. He joined ISO New England from Siemens Power Transmission & Distribution LLC, where he served as Vice President and General Manager of the Power Systems Control Division and was responsible for managing information technology solutions for electric companies. Before coming to Siemens, Mr. van Welie held several positions at ESKOM, South Africa’s electric utility based in Johannesburg. Mr. van Welie is a member of the Executive Committee of the US National Committee of CIGRE; the Member Representatives Committee of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC); and seved on the Electricity Advisory Committee, a group that advises the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. In addition, he is chair of the ISO/RTO Council (IRC).
Event Details, Tickets, and Sponsorships
CEO Forum: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Annual Reception And Buffet: 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $175 per person (includes admittance to CEO Forum and Annual Reception and Buffet) (Reservations for eight or more persons will receive sponsorship designation.)
Please RSVP by Monday, November 28, 2016*, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling NELF at (617) 695-3660. Tickets and sponsorships may also be purchased online at www.nelfonline.org.
*Full payment is expected for any cancellations after November 28, 2016.
Fall Breakfast Program
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Boston College Club, 100 Federal Street
Reassessing Arbitration in 2016: Making It Work for Business
About the Program:
Criticisms of consumer pre-dispute arbitration agreements have recently garnered much attention due to concerns about lack of true consent and unequal bargaining power. However, even in a business-to-business setting where such issues are not of significant concern, arbitration has often gotten a bad rap, a view often based on an anecdotal impression or a personal experience that perhaps should be revised in light of data comparing the time and expense of litigation versus arbitration. Moreover, a negative view of arbitration may also be based on a lack of familiarity with the important procedural and substantive developments and reforms in the field over the past several years. Our panelists will include experienced arbitrators, advocates and inside counsel who will lead a comprehensive discussion of arbitration in 2016, focusing on (a) real world experience and data regarding litigation and arbitration time tables and costs; (b) when arbitration makes sense and when it might not; and (c) a detailed overview of the most important tools available to business users to get the business-focused, speedy, efficient and economical arbitration that they want.
Moderator and Panelist: