eDiscovery and How to Best Use it

by Bethany Coan, eDiscovery Project Manager
eDiscovery (electronic discovery…I know you knew that) is here to stay! With thousands of emails and documents connected to individual parties, the amount of discovery law firms are receiving is not getting any smaller. Communications, containing incredibly important information for review, have expanded from simple emails, apps like “What’s App”, Facebook Messenger and Slack just to name a few. New online programs are available to make these communications easier for all, but knowing the most efficient and safest ways to use eDiscovery or any form of communication you choose, is of the utmost importance to your success.

Here are some of the most crucial tips to effectively working with eDiscovery

  1. Create a Timeline! Whether you are using online programs or reviewing your documents the old-fashioned way, creating a timeline using all of your documents will allow you to see exactly how all of the emails and their attachments fit together. The timeline will make it easier to find emails and events by certain dates. A timeline can also help you sort by sender, recipient, date, subject, etc. so you can track various points of information which is helpful to identifying key documents. Some eDiscovery review platforms offer this on their site, but you can create your own timeline using Excel (and save it to a central location available to all team members working on the case). I have found this incredibly helpful for finding hot documents and their connected email chain. It’s a great way to see everything laid out in a visual way instead of endless pages of emails. If the documents have been Bates-numbered, it is ideal to add the page numbers to the timeline for additional reference.
  2. Use Tags! This is the best way to identify key documents that you want to return to at a later point on any eDiscovery platform. The tags can be highly nuanced or much broader, but, either way, it can shave off valuable time searching for documents previously identified. Once the tags have been added, you can review all the documents that have been identified by these tags at one time. The online reviewing platforms will allow you to add as many tags as you would like. I have used tags like “Hot Docs,” “For RFAs,” “Exhibit [X],” and “Deposition” to identify important documents that are necessary for the many stages leading up to trial. The tagged names (i.e. Confidential, Attorneys Eyes Only) can be stamped at the bottom of the chosen pages once you are ready to download the production.
  3. Don’t Remove Metadata! If at all possible, it’s always better to upload an email in its native format rather than a PDF version of the same email. These eDiscovery programs are capable of performing searches based on the time/date an email was sent, who it was sent to, a specific phrase, etc., but once the metadata is removed, it is a flat image and it can be much harder to find the desired email. When receiving emails and documents from clients for discovery, strongly encourage them to give it to you in a native format to keep from losing that valuable and pertinent information. It will make the search process so much easier and faster. The eDiscovery platforms will detect the words in the PDF emails, but it is not nearly as accurate.
  4. Be Specific with Your Search Terms! The key to any good search is using the right search terms. Search terms that are too vague will produce an overwhelming number of documents to sift through. Utilizing Boolean Terms to combine keywords with operators and modifiers such as “AND”, “OR”, and “NOT” will create a richer context among the search terms you explore. The more specific you get, the smaller number of hits that will be returned. Include as much relevant information as you possibly can. eDiscovery platforms offer advanced searches for date ranges, email addresses, lists of names or numbers, etc. You can even designate words to be highlighted automatically when found from page-to-page.

To sum up: be organized, think ahead, be specific and let the programs work for you. You almost have to think like a program thinks as you use the program. Don’t be intimidated. eDiscovery is here and it’s the now and the future of how we will work to bring the best to our clients. Get on the bus.

The Basic Cyber Tool Box for Lawyers

By Zachary Deubler

It’s hard not to have your eyes glaze over when someone mentions the word “technology” and the legal profession in the same sentence. When technology experts using phrases like VPN, Block-chain, encryption, the Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Data Recovery, lawyers tend to tune out and understandably so. However, since February of 2019, thirty-five states have expressly included knowledge of technology in the official comments for their Rules of Professional Conduct.1 Most states have adopted language similar to comment 8 of the ABA Model Rule 1.1, which states that “a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”2 Moreover, in 2012, Model Rule 1.6 was amended to include the following section “A lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to the representation of a client.”3 The amalgamation of these two rules require that lawyers keep up-to-date, to a reasonable degree, with changes in technology while at the same time making reasonable efforts to prevent disclosure of client information. All of this to say, a lawyer needs to have a basic understanding of how Computers and IT play a role in their practice. 4

While we do not pretend that this article addresses all of the complex areas of technology in the practice of law, we do highlight some key areas to consider while you move into the new year. We encourage you to think about the implementation of some of the basics like VPN, Cloud File Sharing, and Data Recovery.

VPN:

Though Virtual Private Network (“VPN”) technology has been out for quite some time, there has been a resurgence of the technology in the news as of late. There are two different uses for VPN technology. The first is a VPN server, and the second is a VPN service. Though they are very similar because they use the backbone technology, their uses are totally different. A VPN server is a business solution for accessing your office files on the road through a secure connection. A VPN server is nothing more than a software program that runs on your office PC 24 hours a day, waiting for you (the VPN client) to connect to it remotely. Once the connection is made to the VPN server, you will have access to your office PC files and other resources in the office – just as if you were physically sitting in front of your computer at your physical office. VPN servers can even be used to get your iPhone, iPads, and Android phones onto your work network and access your client files. Depending on how your VPN server is set-up, it will also include all the benefits of a VPN service, discussed below. A VPN server is not simple to set-up and will require an IT contractor to come for installation and maintenance.

A VPN service is not used for accessing files, but instead, is used to protect your online activity – banking, e-mailing, and other sensitive tasks – from being intercepted and observed. A VPN service allows you to conduct sensitive online activities on public networks – such as coffee shops, trains, hotels, courts. Normally, you would avoid these public networks when working, but with a VPN service, you can conduct your sensitive transactions online knowing your internet traffic is encrypted. To use a VPN in this manner requires that you pay for a VPN service, which can cost anywhere from $35 a year to $10 a month. Though not as fully functional as a VPN server, the VPN service is a DIY project and can easily be accomplished on your own without having to hire outside help.

Cloud File Sharing:

Clients have come to expect an easy way to collaborate with their lawyers. This is due in large part because the internet has gone mainstream and enabled simplicity of services – from banking to ordering a pizza. This has conditioned consumers to expect real-time communication and collaboration. To meet this demand, the vast majority of lawyers use unencrypted e-mail as the primary means of collaboration – e-mail is the default file sharing service – with little regard to the security of the documents contained within that e-mail.5 As discussed above, lawyers have an ethical obligation to ensure that their client’s confidential information remains secure, which includes the way we send and receive documents.

First, assume the worst. Law firms may face different risks depending on the practice area, but every firm should assume that someone is trying to access your files and recognize that though some file-sharing providers can get close, there isn’t a service or company available that can ensure data remains 100 percent confidential.6 Second, educate your clients and staff that “smart” (and not easy) collaboration is the goal of a legal practice. This education can come in the form of retainer agreements and an upfront conversation at the beginning of the matter regarding the way the firm shares and receives documents. Third, and perhaps hardest of all, is stick to your plan. It will be hard to scrap the plan when the first client (or staff member) complains that they have to enter a password every time they receive a document, or that the attachment won’t open on their phone. There are a number of venders to choose from, but there are several key things to keep in mind when picking a vendor: (1) use [a] reliable company or product to feel secure with confidentiality and ease of use; (2) know from the beginning that the product you are using is in your control and is safe for the firm and the firm’s clients; and (3) understand the geographic location of the file sharing services systems, their security, and what they have the ability to do with the files that are shared via their system.7

Data Recovery:

Imagine this: An employee at a firm opens an email attachment and, unbeknownst to them, there’s a program called Cyberlocker hidden in the e-mail, searches their computer and all of the computers on their network for MS Office documents, PDF files, JPG files, and a variety of other types of files. Once this Cyberlocker finds all the files, it encrypts (locks) them with a key only known to the hacker. Now, no one can open any of the firm’s files, move/copy them, or do anything with them without a key to unlock the files. That key is being held for ransom and their data is in someone else’s control. Depending on if the firm was prepared with data backup, they could be back up and running within the same day; or they could be down for days/weeks with massive amount of work product destroyed. In fact, “the FBI has reported that law firms are often viewed as “one-stop shops” for attackers (with information on multiple clients) and it has seen hundreds of law firms being increasingly targeted by hackers.”8

The mantra of all firms, as it relates to security breaches, should be “when, and not if.” Indeed, in 2012 then-FBI director Mueller said “I am convinced that there are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked and those that will be. And even they are converging into one category: companies that have been hacked and will be hacked again.”9 In 2014, the ABA adopted a resolution on cybersecurity that “encourages all private and public sector organizations to develop, implement, and maintain an appropriate cybersecurity program that complies with applicable ethical and legal obligations. A program that is tailored to the nature and scope of the organization and the data and systems to be protected. The organizations covered by it include law firms.”10

As a first step in realizing that goal, all firms should have an individual(s) designated to be responsible for developing and coordinating a security policy. For those starting out, a good basic rule is to have at minimum two back-up locations: one back-up in your office (a local back-up drive) and the second is off-site in a secure cloud (just in case the building burns down, or a power surge damages your in office computer).

Conclusion:

Follow the advice that we often give our clients, “recognize when you’re out of your element and get professional help and guidance.” We are primarily lawyers, and though we enjoy the immense benefits of the digital world that we practice in, we did not go to school to get a degree in cybersecurity or computer coding. Making sure we protect ourselves and our clients will often require that we seek the advice of the experts and work with trained professionals to ensure that we are conducting ourselves in the most efficient, and secure, manner possible. While we don’t pretend to be experts ourselves, we think that it’s incumbent upon our profession to help each other make better and smarter moves as we all progress in this ever-increasing digital universe.

 

1 Tech Competence, https://www.lawsitesblog.com/tech-competence (last visited 12/9/19).
2 ABA Model Rule 1.1 Competence-Comment, https://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/publications/model_rules_of_professional_conduct/rule_1_1_competence/comment_on_rule_1_1/ (last visited 12/9/19).
3 ABA Model Rule 1.1 Competence-Comment, https://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/publications/model_rules_of_professional_conduct/rule_1_6_confidentiality_of_information/ (last visited 12/9/19).
4See ABA Opinion 477R—Securing Communication of Protected Client Information, https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/professional_responsibility/aba_formal_opinion_477.authcheckdam.pdf (last visited 12/9/19).
5 File-Sharing in the Legal Industry, LexisNexis Survey (2014) https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&ved=2ahUKEwjG_ImDgqnmAhVlTd8KHRsiBtkQFjAKegQIChAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.lexisnexis.com%2F__data%2Fassets%2Fpdf_file%2F0017%2F46061%2Fdocument-security-report.pdf&usg=AOvVaw00yr_xnLqoMSVqzjiR28dG (last visited 12/9/19).
6 See What The Dropbox Hack Means for Lawyers, Above the Law (2016) https://abovethelaw.com/2016/09/what-the-dropbox-hack-means-for-lawyers/?rf=1 (last visited 12/9/19).
7 Law Firm File Sharing: Attorneys in Their Own Words, ABA, (2017) https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gpsolo_ereport/2014/august_2014/law_firm_file_sharing_attorneys_in_their_own_words/ (last visited 12/9/2019). See also 2018 Cloud Computing, ABA, (2019) https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_practice/publications/techreport/ABATECHREPORT2018/2018Cloud/ (last visited 12/9/19).
8 2018 Cybersecurity, ABA (2019) https://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_practice/publications/techreport/ABATECHREPORT2018/2018Cybersecurity/ (last visited 12/9/19).
9 Id.
10 Id.

ADA case tests limits of employee testing

by Corey Zoldan
DiMuroGinsberg PC

Regardless of its ultimate outcome, a still-developing disability case in federal court in Norfolk serves to emphasize that you need to proceed with caution when instituting tests—especially written tests—for current employees or job applicants. The case also highlights the critical distinction between a “disability” and an “inability” for purposes of being covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The case

Rayford Gray worked for Columbia Gas of Virginia for 31 years. He started out as a laborer and later was promoted to service technician. In 2015, Columbia decided to institute a written test for all employees. Gray took the written test but failed it three times. Although he contended that he was still able to perform the essential aspects of his job, Columbia fired him.

Gray asked Columbia to reconsider its decision because his poor test results stemmed from the fact that he had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and couldn’t read. The company refused, and in September 2018, Gray went to court. His lawsuit claims that Columbia discriminated against him based on his disability by not reinstating him after he made it aware he had ADHD and couldn’t read.

Unanswered questions

At this point, Columbia hasn’t responded to Gray’s lawsuit. But if the case isn’t dismissed or otherwise resolved, we can expect to learn more details as it proceeds.

Those details may include the scope of Gray’s disability and whether he was in fact still able to perform the essential functions of his job. Additionally, if he couldn’t perform the essential functions, then the issue becomes whether Columbia needed to—and could have—provided him with reasonable accommodations that would have enabled him to continue to do his work.

Is there a causal connection?

An interesting point that neither Gray nor Columbia has yet addressed is the connection between ADHD and the inability to read.
In 2012, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (which is based in Richmond and whose rulings apply to Virginia employers) considered whether ADHD is a disability. In that case, Halpern v. Wake Forest Univ. Health Science, the appeals court held that “ADHD and anxiety disorders constitute disabilities giving rise to protection under the . . . ADA.” In reaching that conclusion, the court reasoned that the ADA protects against any “mental or psychological disorder, such as . . . specific learning disabilities.” Clearly, that language includes ADHD and dyslexia.

The situation becomes trickier, however, if Gray’s ADHD and inability to read are unrelated. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has previously commented in the appendix to its ADA regulations that “disadvantages such as poverty, lack of education or a prison record are not impairments.” Thus, if a person is unable to read because of a poor education, that person isn’t disabled.

This distinction between disability and inability is likely to be an issue that will be developed as the case moves forward. In all likelihood, addressing the matter will require expert testimony about the nature and effects of ADHD and its impact on Gray’s ability to read and other cognitive functions. Gray v. Columbia Gas of Virginia, 2:18-cv-00475-HCM-LRL.

Avoiding ADA claims

While the distinction between ADHD and an inability to read might ultimately allow Columbia to prevail in the lawsuit, there are several proactive, preventive steps you can take to avoid disability discrimination lawsuits in the first place. The EEOC recommends that you offer an oral test as an alternative to a written test for employees who have a disability that hinders their ability to read. If administering the test in an alternative format isn’t a viable option, the EEOC suggests assessing the ability of a disabled applicant or employee “through an interview, or through education, license, or work experience requirements.”
Further, if the employee or job applicant first becomes aware of having a disability that could have affected the test results only after the test is given, which is what Gray claims, you should have a policy requiring him to inform you immediately. At that point, you should consider providing a retest if a reasonable accommodation is available. Bear in mind, however, that the EEOC says you aren’t required to accommodate when an employee seeks a retest for an “essential function of the position and no reasonable accommodation was available to enable the individual to perform that function, or the necessary accommodation would impose an undue hardship.”

Because an appropriate assessment of your obligations under the ADA involves a number of complex issues, it’s always wise to consult with experienced employment counsel to make sure you have addressed all the necessary factors and have a solid factual and legal basis for the actions you take.

Editor’s note: Because of the various important issues Gray’s lawsuit raises for all employers, we will monitor the legal proceedings and keep you informed of key developments as the case moves forward.

Corey Zoldan is an attorney with DiMuroGinsberg PC and a contributor to Virginia Employment Law Letter. He may be reached at czoldan@dimuro.com.

Seven DiMuroGinsberg Partners to be Listed in the 2019 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©

The firm proudly announces that the following attorneys have been recognized by their peers in The Best Lawyers in America© for their achievement in certain fields of law.

The Best Lawyers in America selection process involves a rigorous peer-review survey comprising more than 5.5 million confidential evaluations by top attorneys. The methodology is designed to capture the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area. We are very proud of our attorneys for being recognized by their peers for excellence in their specialties of law. Read more about them in here.

Nina Ginsberg is Sworn in as President Elect of NACDL

It is with pride and honor that we announce that Nina Ginsberg, one of our founding partners has been installed as President Elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). At the Association’s annual meeting in Miami Beach, FL, on July 29, all new officers were sworn in and officially took on their new roles. However, taking on responsibilities for the Association is not new for Nina. She has been active and engaged for decades, serving on countless committees, many times as co-chair or chair as well as nominating committees including the Executive Director Screening task force. She has received three presidential commendations and has served on the Board of Directors several times. To read more about this appointment and her many accomplishments, click here.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Leave under the ADA/FMLA

By: Jonathan R. Mook
As published by HRHero.com, a division of BLR, in the Virginia Employment Law Letter

Dealing with employees on Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) always is tricky. You can incur liability for interfering with an employee’s leave rights as well as for retaliating against an employee for seeking to exercise those rights or taking FMLA leave. Additionally, oftentimes an employee who qualifies for FMLA leave due to a serious health condition also may be disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In this circumstance, you have two federal laws to worry about.

To help sort through these issues, we have asked DiMuroGinsberg partner, Jonathan R. Mook, who is a nationally recognized authority on the ADA and leave issues, to provide our readers guidance on how to avoid both FMLA and ADA claims.

Is it permissible to terminate an employee who is on FMLA leave?

The answer is “yes,” but proceed with care and caution.  Sometimes, while an employee is out on FMLA leave, the employer discovers that the employee has not been doing his or her job or has been engaged in some type of workplace misconduct that would justify termination. In this circumstance, the FMLA allows an employer to terminate the employee because it is a reason other than the employee’s taking or being entitled to the leave.  Bear in mind that any evidence of poor performance or misconduct should be sufficiently documented. That way, if, and when, an FMLA complaint with the Department of Labor or a lawsuit is filed, you will be able to present evidence that the basis for the employee’s termination was other than the employee’s taking (or need for) FMLA leave.

Even if it is permissible, do you advise the termination for misconduct of employees on FMLA leave?

I usually advise employers to wait and allow the employee to complete his or her FMLA leave.  When the employee returns to work, then the employer can confront the employee with the information that the employer has obtained while the employee was out.  During the meeting with the employee, the employer should ask the employee if there is any excuse for the employee’s misconduct or any mitigating factors.  If there are not, the employer can then take a job action.

When is it permissible to terminate an employee who has been on FMLA leave and has returned to work?

Again, it is permissible to terminate an employee for reasons other than the taking of FMLA leave (or the need for such leave), such as poor performance or misconduct.  The law does not require you to keep an unqualified or disruptive employee. The only circumstance in which an employer should consider letting an employee go for reasons relating to FMLA leave would be if the employee has falsified the FMLA documentation that the employee submitted to the employer to be approved for FMLA leave.  If an employee engages in fraud with respect to the taking of FMLA leave (for example, taking FMLA leave to go on vacation rather than for medical treatment), then the employer has a basis for termination.

What steps should an employer take to prepare for the possibility that an FMLA leave request will be followed by a need for an ADA reasonable accommodation?

Normally, it is the responsibility of the disabled employee to request a need for an ADA accommodation.  An employer need not anticipate an accommodation request.  However, where an employee has a serious health condition that rises to the level of an ADA disability, an employee may request leave for medical treatment and, possibly, recuperation.  If the employee is entitled to FMLA leave, the employer will provide the employee with the 12 weeks of FMLA leave (or longer under certain state laws).  After the FMLA leave expires, the employee may be entitled to additional leave as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

What is the EEOC’s position on leave as an ADA accommodation?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has said that leave for medical treatment is a type of reasonable accommodation and that an employer may need to extend the leave until it becomes an undue hardship on the employer’s operations.  However, not all courts agree with the EEOC’s analysis.  In an opinion authored by Judge (now Justice) Neil Gorsuch, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in its 2014 decision in Hwang v. Kansas State University said that an employer was not required to provide an employee suffering from cancer additional time off after the employer had already granted six months of paid leave.  Recently, in Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., the Seventh Circuit said that a request for leave of several months over and above the twelve weeks of FMLA leave was not required as an ADA accommodation.

If additional leave is not granted, must the employer consider alternative accommodations?

Importantly, even if the accommodation of a multi-month leave of absence is not required under the ADA, you still need to explore other accommodations to allow a disabled employee to return to work following the expiration of that employee’s FMLA leave.  Such accommodations could be the elimination of those marginal job functions that the employee cannot perform or transferring the employee to a vacant position that the employee can perform notwithstanding the employee’s limitations caused by the disability.  You need to think ahead to take into account these possibilities. Unfortunately, there is not one easy answer. To make sure you have checked all the boxes, it always is advisable to consult with experienced employment counsel.

Jonathan R. Mook is a nationally recognized authority on the Americans with Disabilities Act and is a co-editor of the Virginia Employment Law Letter. For questions regarding this article or other employment law issues, you may contact Jonathan at jmook@dimuro.com.

Employers Face Uphill Battle Defending Equal Pay Act Claims

Not only must you be vigilant in preventing workplace sexual harassment in the age of #MeToo, but you also may face an uphill battle in defending against gender-based pay discrimination claims under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), according to a new decision from the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals—which covers Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

While EPA claims currently may not be as common as claims brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that could change in light of the 4th Circuit’s recent decision in the case of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. The Maryland Insurance Administration. Whereas Title VII merely requires an employer to provide a reason that explains a wage disparity, the Equal Pay Act requires that you prove that your reason actually explains the wage difference between male and female employees.

Jayna Genti takes a closer look at the case in the online article “Employers Face Heavy Burden When Defending EPA Claims” for the HR Daily Advisor. Along with her analysis of the case and its relevant applications, Jayna offers some “best practices” advice for employers on documenting complaints and actions. To read Jayna’s article, click here.

Ben DiMuro Named to Virginia Lawyers Inaugural Hall of Fame

DiMuroGinsberg is proud to announce that founder and managing partner, Ben DiMuro, has been selected for inclusion in Virginia Lawyers Media inaugural class of the “Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame”.

The Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame honors Virginia lawyers age 60 and older. Criteria for inclusion in the Hall include career accomplishments, contributions to the development of the law in Virginia, contributions to the bar and to the commonwealth at large and efforts to improve the quality of justice in Virginia.

Ben is a former President of the Virginia State Bar and is widely known for his expertise in legal ethics, legal malpractice and business and employment litigation. Ben’s lengthy service to the Bar includes chairing the Task Force on Public Access to the Disciplinary System, serving on the Committee to Study the Code of Professional Responsibility, serving as a faculty member on the Bar’s Course on Professionalism and serving on the Bar’s Task Force on Corporate Counsel.

Ben is a long-time supporter and a former Board Member of the Special Olympics of Virginia. He is also a member of The Fellows of the American Bar, the Litigation Counsel of America and The Virginia Law Foundation.

For the Virginia Lawyers Media full press release, click here.

Four DiMuroGinsberg Attorneys Recognized by Virginia SuperLawyers

We are proud to announce that four of our attorneys will be listed in the 2018 Virginia SuperLawyers publication. SuperLawyers recognizes attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the practice of law and who stand out in their respective practice areas.  Less than 5% of the state’s lawyers receive this honor.

Congratulations to our Virginia SuperLawyers:

Bernard J. DiMuro, one of the Top 100 for Business Litigation
Nina J. Ginsberg, one of the Top 50 for Criminal Defense
Michael S. Lieberman for Business Litigation
Andrea L. Moseley for Criminal Defense

DiMuroGinsberg is a litigation and business firm located in Alexandria, Virginia. The firm’s practice focuses primarily on general and complex litigation in the areas of corporate and commercial law, intellectual property, business torts, criminal law, white collar crime, employment law, personal injury, and professional liability and ethics. The firm’s complimentary business law practice offers services in the areas of business contracts, corporate debt and capital finance, business transactions, outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance.