Verona Dorch, Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer for Peabody Energy, was recently interviewed by Kristin Calve of Corporate Counsel Business Journal. Dorch shared several strong messages that resonated with me personally, so much so that I wanted to highlight how they’ve been important in my practice and work with clients.
Like Dorch, I’m a strong believer in teams. She says, “I’m a strong believer in building a team of leaders. I like to give people the ability to lead, and I sometimes do it before they are ready.”
This describes how I sometimes...
NDAs (nondisclosure agreements) have become as common in Silicon Valley as Patagonia vests. You just can’t get into a meeting without one. Should you sign what’s presented to you to be polite and get the pitch or interview you covet? Not necessarily. Read the agreement and feel free to push back, even if it means rescheduling. Too many companies are offering wildly broad NDAs with serious implications that may deceptively disadvantage the recipient.
I just taught a Contracts section in the Entrepreneur’s Clinic at Santa Clara University School of Law, where I had the opportunity to...
One of my startup clients called me the other day. It was the CEO. He got right to the point.
“I’ve got a problem,” he said. “I owe you money, and we’ve run into some real financial problems. Here’s what we are doing to overcome it, and you are high on my list to be paid. If you want to stop working with us, I understand.”
Working with startups is an art. You need to know how to triage issues and control legal spend. Most importantly, you need to align your goals for them as a legal adviser with their goals for the company, and understand how to do so in an environment where resources...