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Every organization has a corporate culture that generally reflects the standards, personalities, and uniqueness of its owners and executive management.

A friend recently told me a story about a company he worked for in Tokyo for a few years. Each morning, the Chairman greeted all of the employees at the entrance of the building. He looked at every employee and said "Good Morning" as they came in, and they returned the greeting. This was not just a little quiet exchange but a real hearty "GOOD MORNING".

Then the Chairman would begin the day by getting on the company intercom system, to again greet all of the employees and give them a little pep talk. Throughout the day, the Chairman would be seen walking through the floors talking briefly to the managers and staff about their jobs, projects and general business. He knew all of their names, showed a personal interest in everyone he spoke to, and had a recall memory that was unmatched.

Almost everyday at lunch you would find the Chairman in the cafeteria eating with some of the staff and having pleasant conversation. As the afternoon wore on, the Chairman was usually in his office and made himself available to any employee to come in and talk.

The Chairman's influence, charm, warmth and sincerity was so pervasive that when managers and employees discussed projects and other company business, it was always with the perspective that whatever needed to be done, it should be performed with the view that the Chairman would be proud.

Thomas W. Hamilton

 Industry News

Do clients hire based on the lawyers or law firms?
The Legal Intelligencer (subscription required)
I recently had a spirited debate on this topic with a group of lawyers. While the familiar refrain of "it depends" reared its head more than a few times, a few conclusions were reached. For those who are not business-getters, their answer was "the firm." For in-house attorneys and partners who are rainmakers, their unmistakable rejoinder was that clients hire lawyers. Subject to a few minor exceptions, the experience I gained as a partner and in-house lawyer leads me to side with the latter group.
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False Claims Act debts held non-dischargeable in bankruptcy
New York Law Journal
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York revived a $2 billion suit brought against a Chapter 11 corporate debtor by two qui tam relators under the False Claims Act (FCA). This decision is important because it may afford plaintiffs in FCA actions additional leverage against corporate debtors, regardless of the merits of their asserted FCA claims, and could, depending on the dollars at stake, impact the ability of a corporate debtor with potential FCA liability to successfully reorganize.
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New ruling: Debt collectors could be fined $1,500 every time they call
Yahoo Finance
Consumers who don’t want to be contacted by debt collectors on their cellphones may have a powerful new ruling on their side. It may not only help them stop these calls, but it may increase the chances that they can collect damages of $500 to $1,500 per call. In a recent 11th Circuit case, Osorio v. State Farm Bank, the court reinforced restrictions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act that, among other things, prohibit collectors from using automated dialing systems to call consumers on their cellphones without the consumer’s express permission.
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Protecting law firms from increasing cyberattacks
The Legal Intelligencer (subscription required)
Cyberattacks are increasing at a startling rate in the business community, not only by hackers for personal intellectual skullduggery, but cyberattacks aimed at obtaining sensitive information that is the heart of the operation of industrial corporations, banks, brokerage houses and worldwide sales organizations. Law firms have become major targets of these illegal attacks, which are aimed at discovering and pilfering the entire subject matter of a commercial operation. One example is the corporate snooper who will use cyberespionage in an M&A transaction to understand what the competitors are bidding.
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ACA International responds to criticism of IRS use of private debt collectors
ACA International
ACA International on June 11, responded to criticism of a proposal that would allow the U.S. Treasury to contract with private debt collectors to recover unpaid taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service. The following is a statement from ACA International President Leslie Bender.
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