2017 Back to School Symposium

August 15, 2017
8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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The Houstonian
111 North Post Oak Lane
Houston, TX 77024

Please make plans to join ACC Houston on Tuesday,  August 15, 2017 for our "Back to School Symposium," a day-long diverse CLE program providing 7.0 hrs CLE including 2.0 hrs Ethics Credits.  Special Keynote lunchtime speaker, Judge Jennifer Elrod will speak about the thorny issues that arise when in-house counsel work with outside counsel litigators in federal court.


Breakfast and Registration: 8:00 am - 9:00 am
Program: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Reception with Raffle: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Event Agenda

Session 1: 9:00 am - 9:50 am
Drafter’s Guide to Contracting Principles
CLE: 1.0 Hrs

Description: As a guide to general contracting principles, the discussion will cover the following topics: (i) warranty; (ii) allocation of liability, including indemnity and consequential damages; (iii) confidentiality; (iv) assignability; and (v) payment terms.  We will also examine some of the unique terms of art in indemnities, the use of the special concepts like regardless of fault and pass through, the handling of pollution and consequential damages, addressing legal unenforceability issues under the express negligence rule and anti-indemnity acts, and indemnities in context of consulting agreements and purchase and sale agreements.

Presented by: Porter Hedges LLP
Speakers: Randy King and Mac Marshall, Porter Hedges LLP

Session 2: 10:00 am - 10:50 am
The Three Most Overlooked Cybersecurity Risks: Human Factors | Information Control | Third-Party Vendors
CLE: 1.0 Hrs

Description: Cybersecurity threats are now one of the top risks businesses face.  Legal’s role in cybersecurity is rapidly expanding due to the litigation and the tidal wave of cybersecurity regulations sweeping across the United States, Europe and other parts of the globe.  The earlier the legal team gets involved in their organization’s cybersecurity planning and strategy, the better the outcome will be when there is an incident.

Legal can make an enormous impact on cybersecurity risks with modest resources when they focus on the right areas.  This session will discuss practical and defensible processes in-house counsel can use to address three of the most likely and overlooked cybersecurity risks.  Issues to be discussed include:

  • Legal obligations and regulators’ expectations
  • Where employee actions and policy disconnects leave you vulnerable
  • Defensible third-party diligence to uncover your greatest risks
  • Reducing your data footprint (once and for all) to minimize cyber risks and meet new regulatory obligations.

Presented by: Jordan Lawrence
Speakers: Rebecca Perry, Jordan Lawrence; John Ansbach, General Datatech; Peter Vogel and Eddie Block, Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP

Session 3: 11:00 am - 11:50 am
Legal and Ethical Considerations in the Wake of  Major Accident
CLE: 1.0 Hrs with 1.0 Hrs Ethics

Description: Effectively responding to a major accident requires a prompt, confident approach; especially with criminal prosecutions for endangerment and environmental releases becoming more frequent. Knowing what to expect from a legal perspective and being able to respond to a rapidly evolving situation is key. This presentation will provide practical advice on how to prepare for and then effectively manage the initial response to a major workplace incident. This session will provide insights into how to properly prepare for—and effectively manage—the specific legal and ethical issues associated with a major incident, including:

  • Crisis management and the role of counsel
  • Strategies for dealing with federal government inspectors in light of new enforcement priorities
  • Privileged vs. non-privileged internal investigations

Presented by: Katten Muchin Rosenman
Speakers: Scott Elliott, Katten Muchin Rosenman

Keynote Speaker, Judge Jennifer Elrod
Lunch: 12:00 noon- 1:30 pm
Topic: In-House: In Court and Outside Counsel
CLE: 1.0 Hrs

Description: In-house attorneys have a wide range of responsibilities. Judge Elrod will speak about the thorny issues that arise when in-house counsel work with outside counsel litigators in federal court.

Speaker: Judge Elrod is a Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Session 4: 1:30 pm - 2:20 pm
Defensive Strategies To Avoid Litigation and When Litigation is Unavoidable
CLE: 1.0 Hrs

Description:  The presentation will provide strategies for avoiding litigation through regulatory knowledge in your specific industry, as well as tips for assessing risk by understanding areas that are vulnerable to litigation.  If litigation is ultimately unavoidable, the presenters will address creative strategies to maximize dismissal opportunities and lessen the potential for liability. 

Presented by: Shook Hardy & Bacon
Speakers: Jennise Stubbs and Kelsey Copeland, Shook Hardy & Bacon

Session 5: 2:30 pm - 3:20 pm
Resolving Tax Controversies: An Overview for Counsel
CLE: 1.0 Hrs

Description: Businesses today face unprecedented challenges as governments become increasingly aggressive in their search for tax revenues.  Because the responsibility for federal income taxes generally falls outside of the legal department, many in-house legal teams are unfamiliar with the process for and different avenues of resolving federal tax controversies with the Internal Revenue Service. 

Please join Brent Gardner, Senior Tax Counsel and Director of Tax Controversy of Hewlett-Packard Company and Rob Morris of Norton Rose Fulbright for a discussion of what in-house counsel should know about handling an IRS controversy.  The presentation uses real world experiences, movie clips, and focuses on the practical aspects of resolving a federal tax dispute, both administratively and through litigation.  

Presented by: Norton Rose Fulbright
Speakers: Brent Gardner – Senior tax counsel, Director of tax controversy, Hewlett-Packard Company and Robert C. Morris – US Co-Head, Tax, Norton Rose Fulbright

Session 6: 3:30 pm - 4:20 pm
Ethics and Privilege Issues Specific to In-House Counsel
CLE: 1.0 Hrs with 1.0 Hrs Ethics

Description: Ethics and privilege issues for in-house counsel who serve in multiple roles, including as trusted business advisor, counselor, attorney, corporate secretary, compliance officer, and copier repair person, can be confusing and best described as "gray."  These gray areas are further complicated by the global, cloud server-based corporate environments most in-house counsel navigate every day, which may subject their work product and legal advice to the laws of numerous jurisdictions around the world.

This session will discuss ethics and privilege issues specific to in-house counsel, and will examine the lessons learned from real life judgment errors by in-house counsel who were unprepared when faced with gray area ethics and privilege issues.  Among the issues we will discuss are:

  • Ethics rules for in-house counsel, domestic and international
  • How to maintain privilege internally (and how to avoid unintended waiver of privilege)
  • What to do when you enter a "gray" zone

Presented by: Dentons
Speaker: Heather Khassian, Dentons

Evening Reception and Raffle from 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Hosted by Thomson Reuters


Credits: 7.0 hrs includes 2.0 hrs Ethics
State: TX


The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) is a global bar association that promotes the common professional and business interests of in-house counsel who work for and whose primary responsibility is providing legal advice to corporations, associations and other private-sector organizations. Accordingly, the ACC Houston Chapter reserves the right to limit attendance at any of its Continuing Legal Education (CLE) events to ACC Houston Chapter members or non-ACC chapter member in-house attorneys only. If you are not an in-house attorney and wish to attend a CLE event, you may only do so, space permitting, if you are accompanied by an in-house attorney from your company or organization.


Elena Baer
Phone: 713-839-0808
E-mail: acchouston@accglobal.com

Sponsored By



$75.00 ACC Houston Member
$50.00 Earlybird rate before August 8

$200.00 Non-Member Ticket - *Must be In-House Counsel
$150.00 Earlybird rate before August 8

$0.00 Sponsor Representative - Please only use this ticket option if you are attending on behalf of an event sponsor.