The Massachusetts Bar Association will be holding its 12th
Annual In-House Counsel Conference on Friday, Dec. 5, from 9 a.m.
to 1 p.m., at the MBA, 20 West St., Boston. As with prior
conferences, this year's conference will feature several high-level
speakers on topics critical to in-house counsel.
The theme for the 2014 conference is "Compliance and Risk
Management." Companies are facing a constantly changing risk and
regulatory environment, that requires self regulation and self
examination, and imposes consequences for those who are not engaged
in appropriate internal practices. This has created new burdens for
in-house counsel. In-house counsel and compliance officers are
expected to implement and manage compliance systems and procedures
in a variety of new and evolving areas, and to do so efficiently. A
legal officer with legal and compliance responsibilities may
perform multiple functions ranging from providing traditional legal
advice to management functions such as oversight of controls,
investigations, outside disclosures and employee training. There
are fresh challenges involved in identifying the need for
compliance programs, configuring those programs for forward-looking
sufficiency, and then managing and sustaining the programs
This year's In-House Counsel Conference will include a panel
discussion regarding managing a culture of compliance. Panelists
will include William Sinnott, former corporation counsel with the
city of Boston, and presently practicing with Donoghue Barrett
& Singal PC; and Tim C. Mazur, chief operating officer of the
Ethics & Compliance Officer Association, and former ethics
officer at two Fortune 500 corporations. Conference co-chair James
C. Donnelly Jr. of Mirick, O'Connell, DeMallie & Lougee LLP,
will moderate the panel discussion.
The keynote address will be delivered by F. Bierne Lovely Jr.,
general counsel of the Archdiocese of Boston. The Hon. Mary Thomas
Sullivan, associate justice of the Massachusetts Appeals Court,
will be the judicial speaker.
With today's mobile workforce and new and alternative working
arrangements for employees and other personnel, company counsel
must be increasingly attentive to laws regulating employees' rights
and a company's HR obligations, and the risks associated with
non-compliance with such laws. The conference will present a panel
discussion focused on managing wage and hour risks, featuring
Matthew Berge, division chief of the Fair Labor Division of the
Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. Conference co-chair Robert
J. Kerwin, chief legal officer of Mortgage Master Inc., will
moderate the panel discussion.
Many companies face compliance challenges in connection with
managing relations with non-U.S. employees. The conference will
present a discussion by Alan M. Pampanin of the Pampanin Law
Offices, regarding management of immigration law risks.
As in recent years, the conference plans to include one or more
brief "lightning round" presentations designed to give a quick
report on legal developments that are significant to in-house
counsel. As time permits, attendees will be treated to these
reports regarding current developments.
This year's full agenda promises to continue a tradition of
providing, in a half-day conference, a wealth of valuable
information that is responsive to in-house counsel's needs. Please
plan to arrive early to meet and network with fellow in-house
counsel. With a robust schedule of topics and speakers, conference
co-chair David A. Parke of Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas LLP
plans to start the conference promptly at 9 a.m.