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Chicago Lawyer Magazine Lauds Firm’s High Quality of Client Service

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC is featured as the cover story in the November 2014 issue of Chicago Lawyer magazine. The Firm was highlighted for the quality of its legal services, its continuing attention to client business needs, and its unique position as the largest certified women-owned firm in Chicago. Partners Stephanie Scharf, Ted Banks and Sarah Marmor spoke about the ways in which they have developed their careers and their approaches to managing legal services. 

The Firm’s clients spoke about our approach to client services, including that the Firm offers “very talented people, all of them,” “the quality of the work is unique,” and Scharf Banks Marmor serves as “a model for . . .  women- and minority-owned firms.”

The article explains how the Firm has become one of the few sizeable majority women-owned law firms in the country, by hiring experienced and talented lawyers, creating a culture of teamwork and sharing, and networking with and mentoring other women in the profession. The article also highlights the major renovation and expansion of the office that is underway as well as the Firm’s focus on technology as a competitive advantage.

Read the full story by clicking here.

Partner Ted Banks Blogs for ACC about Compliance Mistakes

Partner Ted Banks, along with Eric Hinton, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer at 7-Eleven, Inc., published an article, ‘The Biggest Compliance Mistake That Lawyers Make,’ in the In-House Access blog of the Association of Corporate Counsel.  The article discusses ways to make certain that compliance programs actually reach employees by focusing on the employee, rather than trying to re-teach law school.  If you have any questions about compliance programs, contact Ted Banks at tbanks@scharfbanks.com

University of Denver Honors Partner Ted Banks

Partner Ted Banks was honored at with the Distinguished Alumni Award at the 2015 International Law Gala Reception of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law on March 25, 2015.  While in law school, Banks served as Editor-in-Chief of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, and throughout his legal career he was involved in numerous international transactions.  In recent years he has been involved in developing compliance programs that address risks that arise from doing business outside of the United States.  As part of the March 25 proceedings, Banks delivered a talk entitled “Establishing a Universal Compliance Program for Multinational Corporations.”

Partner Ted Banks Provides Compliance Guidance in Three Articles in Inside Counsel

Compliance officers have complicated jobs. They need to manage expectations of government regulators, top-level executives and the rank and file employees. At the same time, a large number of different concerns — from privacy to corruption and more — fall under their purview. As a result, compliance officers must be aware of what is happening in their organizations and in the world, and be agile enough to adjust policies and programs to meet these disparate demands. Read full story by clicking here. 

Stephanie Scharf Interviewed on Future of Securities Class Actions

On February 27, 2015, Inside Counsel published an interview with partner Stephanie Scharf regarding the future of securities class actions.  Stephanie noted several potential trends, including the targeting of foreign corporations with business in the U.S., the more complicated evidentiary issues that stem from the recent s Supreme Court decision, and a growing skepticism in the judiciary about the fees awarded to plaintiffs’ counsel in settled cases.  Read the entire interview at Insidecounsel.com

Justice Michael B. Hyman to Speak at CLE Event April 1st

On April 1st, the firm will be hosting a program of the Decalogue Society of Lawyers, featuring Ilinois Court of Appeals Justice Michael B. Hyman.  The topic of Justice Hyman’s presentation will be “Perception of Justice in Black and White.” 

Compliance & Ethics Professional Magazine Features Ted Banks

The March 2015 edition of Compliance & Ethics Professional, the magazine of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, features an article by Firm Partner Ted Banks.   The article compares the management styles of Warren Buffet and Steve Jobs, and how each contributed to the business success of their companies, and occasional failures of the their compliance programs.  Read the full text of the article here.

Deirdre Fox on Intellectual Property and Executive Agreements

On March 26, 2015, Counsel Deirdre Fox is a featured speaker on the topic of “Negotiating Executive Employment Agreements: Intellectual Property and Other Tips and Traps for the Unwary.”   Ms. Fox will speak at the American Bar Association’s 2015 Midwinter Meeting of the Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, Labor and Employment Section, taking place in Naples, Florida.   The program will discuss pitfalls and traps in the drafting and negotiation of clauses regarding intellectual property, confidentiality and other rights and remedies in executive employment agreements, with particular focus on the intellectual property issues that typically arise in executive contracts in the creative, technology and financial services industries.  For more information about the program and conference click here

Hot Topics for Food Industry Consumer Packaged Goods Entrepreneurs

On February 5, 2015, the Firm hosted a seminar entitled “Hot Topics for Food Industry/Consumer Packaged Goods Entrepreneurs.”    Co-hosted by the Women’s Business Development Center, the seminar offered insights from leading members of the food industry on cutting edge legal and business issues. 

Ted Banks, Scharf Banks Marmor Partner and Seminar Chair,  led the presentations with targeted advice on “Avoiding Legal Problems in the Food and Consumer Packaged Goods Businesses.”    Partner Nina Stillman and Senior Associate Virginia Kim explained legal issues regarding ”The Contagious Employee” and what employers can and should do when faced with that situation.   

Donna Bunch Coaxum, Sr. Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at OSI Group, LLC, a $6 billion privately-held food company, and Scott Dickinson, founder of Natural Direct LLC, covered “The Exciting World of Natural and Organic Foods.”  Ellen MacGran, a chemist and food industry consultant, joined by Lois Moss-Barnwell, professional nutritionist, explained “Food Safety, Accurate Labeling and Recent Legislation.”     Tom Sampson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Peacock Engineering Company, discussed “Opportunities in Private Label Food and Consumer Packaged Goods.”

For further information, including written materials, please contact Food Practice Chair Ted Banks

Firm Attorneys Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

Congratulations to Stephanie A. Scharf and Nina G.  Stillman, who have been recognized as 2015 Illinois “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers Magazine.  Ms. Scharf was recognized in Civil Litigation: Defense and Ms Stillman was recognized in Employment & Labor.  Selection as Super Lawyers placed these lawyers in the top 5% of Illinois lawyers as reviewed by peer attorneys.  This is the eleventh year in a row that Ms. Scharf and Ms. Stillman have received these honors. 

George D. Sax was named an Illinois “Rising Star” in the practice area of Business Litigation.  Mr. Sax was ranked in the top 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois who are less than 40 years old or have fewer than 10 years of legal experience.  This is the fifth year in a row that Mr. Sax has received this honor.  

Firm Represents PLAC in Amicus Brief to Illinois Supreme Court

The Firm has filed one of  two amicus briefs accepted by the Illinois Supreme Court on behalf of the manufacturer-defendant in Price v. Philip Morris, an Illinois consumer fraud case that awarded class plaintiffs $10.1 billion (including $1.8 billion in fees to the plaintiffs’ trial lawyers)--the largest judicial award in Illinois history.  The award rests on the claim that labeling of the defendant’s “light” cigarettes violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.  The amicus brief, written on behalf of  the Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC), criticized  the Price judgment for lacking the required legal elements of deception, causation and commonality, contrary to Illinois legal requirements and consumer fraud law in most other states.  The brief also showed how the judgment, if left in place, would lead to deleterious effects on Illinois consumers, Illinois businesses and the courts. 

A copy of the brief is attached here. For further information please contact Stephanie Scharf, Sarah Marmor or George D.Sax

Firm's Defeat of Illinois Consumer Fraud Class Action is Affirmed On Appeal

On September 30, 2014, the Illinois Appellate Court affirmed dismissal of an alleged consumer fraud and breach of contract class action that had been filed against our client Stratford Career Institute. Attorneys Stephanie Scharf, Sarah Marmor, George Sax and Virgina Kim, assisted by paralegals Jean Casserly and Ursula Forhan, represented Stratford at the trial level and on appeal. The gist of the complaint was that Stratford’s marketing of its distance learning program violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and also constituted breach of contract. The trial court’s dismissal was based on various grounds, including plaintiffs’ failure to allege common questions of law and fact. In affirming dismissal, the Appellate Court held that the plaintiffs were inadequate class representatives and did not have viable individual claims against Stratford as a matter of law. A copy of the Appellate Court’s opinion is attached here

Scharf Leads Plenary at ABA National Conference on Litigation

Partner Stephanie Scharf moderated the opening plenary session of the first-ever American Bar Association Section of Litigation conference directed to women trial lawyers.  Stephanie led a panel that included other well-regarded trial lawyers Kim Askew (Dallas), Trish Refo (Phoenix), and Hilarie Bass (Miami),  and Judge Nancy Atlas, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas (Houston).  The panel reviewed new statistics about the role of women in litigation and then had a far-ranging discussion about how to achieve first chair roles at trial, the hard skills and soft skills that are needed, and how to recover from victories and defeats.  The panel is pictured below with (from left) Ms. Scharf, Ms. Askew, Judge Atlas, Ms. Bass and Ms. Refo.

 

Ted Banks to speak at Fordham Law School antitrust compliance program

Partner Ted Banks will be speaking at the special program of the Fordham Corporate Law Center, "What You Need to Know Today in Dealing with the DOJ". Ted will address the ethical issues facing antitrust compliance programs. The program will be presented on Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 8:30 a.m. To register: click here.

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC Adds Partner Nina G. Stillman

Nina StillmanScharf Banks Marmor LLC has announced that Nina G. Stillman has joined its Chicago office as a partner, expanding and strengthening the firm’s Employment as well as its Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) practices. Chicago’s largest women-owned law firm, Scharf Banks Marmor has now grown to 13 lawyers. 

Stillman most recently was senior counsel for the Chicago office of Morgan Lewis, where she specialized in labor and employment, particularly in issues such as equal employment opportunity and occupational safety and health law matters.

"We are thrilled and honored to have Nina join Scharf Banks Marmor. She brings tremendous skills and energy to the Firm’s employment and OSHA practices, which will be of great benefit to our clients and to the Firm,” said Partners Stephanie Scharf and Ted Banks.

Stillman has successfully represented corporations and institutions in large employment class actions and individual employment, restrictive covenants, and health and safety-related cases. Her work has included counseling employers nationwide on cross-border workplace issues and international clients on U.S. employment and workplace safety and health law. 

“While our existing employment practice is robust, the addition of Nina allows us to further expand and grow this practice area,” said Partner Sarah Marmor. “Nina is a nationally renowned employment and OSHA lawyer who has worked with many large companies and institutions on the most critical employment issues facing companies today. Having her on our team will give our Firm and clients a tremendous edge.”

Stillman added, “I’m delighted to join this group of sophisticated, technology-savvy and widely respected lawyers at Scharf Banks Marmor. Their smart-staffing and results-oriented approach to serving clients was a major draw for me, as was the focus on diversity with so many senior-level women at the helm. I look forward to further building and expanding on my practice here.”

From 2004 through 2014, Stillman was named one of the leading U.S. lawyers for employment law by Chambers USA, based on the views of clients, peers and other industry professionals. She is the past chair of the Chicago Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Committee; a past board member of the University Club of Chicago; and a board member of the Merit School of Music and the Northwestern University Law Board. Stillman has written numerous articles and is a frequent lecturer on labor, employment, and workplace health and safety law issues.

Stillman earned her J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law, and her A.B. from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Partner Ted Banks Discusses General Counsel's Skill Set

ted-banksPartner Ted Banks authored the article What Really Should be in General Counsel's Skill Set in Law Technology News, published by American Lawyer Media. The article discusses the technology knowledge that is essential for a general counsel's job for managing legal risks of the enterprise. Among the advice offered is a list of the technology tools and concepts that general counsels should review including technology concepts in substantive law, e-business, compliance and risk.

Read more: http://www.lawtechnologynews.com/id=1202665645997/What-Really-Should-Be-in-General-Counsels-Skill-Set#ixzz39XsFBjSL.

Scharf Recognized for Founding NAWL General Counsel Institute

In a story recapping the founding of the General Counsel Institute (“GCI”) held annually by the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), attorneys Mimi MacDonald, Vivien Naim and Caitlin Kepple described the central role played by partner Stephanie Scharf, a former President of NAWL, who conceived and then chaired the first GCI, held in New York City in 2005.  As described in an article posted on Above the Law:

Stephanie Scharf, now a partner at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC, founded the General Counsel Institute (“GCI”).  Scharf targeted the meeting to senior corporate counsel who had the goal of advancing to the role of chief legal officer.  She recognized the need for in-house attorneys to build top-tier professional and management skills in a supportive and interactive learning environment and to learn from experienced officers and directors about the points of pressure and success for general counsels. 

Together with NAWL President Lorraine Koc, then General Counsel and EEO Officer at Deb Shops, Inc. (now Senior Counsel at SugarHouse Casino) and NAWL President Elect, Cathy Fleming, then a partner at Edwards and Angell, LLP (now a partner at Hodgson Russ, LLP), Scharf quickly formed a planning committee which consisted of themselves, as a well as Carol Basri, then adjunct professor at University of Pennsylvania School of Law (now adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law), Caroline K. Cheng, Management Principal and Associate General Counsel at Deloitte LLP, Dorian Denburg, then Chief Rights-of-Way Counsel for BellSouth Corporation (now General Attorney for AT&T Services, Inc.), Michele Speller-Thurman, then a partner at Jenner & Block (now Senior Counsel at Abbott Laboratories) and Betty-Lynn White (now an Adjunct and Area Chair for the University of Phoenix and Adjunct Professor at Albertus Magnus College). 

The Committee arranged plenary and workshop sessions to foster frank discussions about what it takes to be promoted and provide the means to improve skills and knowledge in a collegial atmosphere.  They developed an innovative CLE program with opportunities to learn and network with other senior legal and business professionals and featured speakers Peter Harvey, then Attorney General of New Jersey, Catherine R. Kinney, then Co-Chief Operating Officer of the New York Stock Exchange, and Carol Robles-Román, Deputy Mayor, New York City.  GCI met with rave reviews!

For more about the history of GCI and NAWL’s mission, click here: http://abovethelaw.com/sponsored-content/2014/10/the-national-association-of-women-lawyers-celebrates-the-tenth-anniversary-of-its-general-counsel-institute-by-having-ten-remarkable-general-counsels-speak-at-its-event/

Partners Lead Seminar at the North Shore Labor Counsel

Sarah Marmor, Stephanie Scharf, and Ted Banks presented a seminar to the North Shore Labor Counsel meeting June 13. Topics discussed were the implications for employment lawyers of the recent repeal of the Illinois' anti-eavesdropping law; notable decisions from the 2014 season from the US Supreme Court, including the anticipated ruling in NLRB v. Noel Canning and its potential effects on employer social media policies and procedures. The presentation also addressed the admissibility of Social Media evidence, which is becoming increasingly important in employment cases. The seminar ended with a discussion of ethical rules for in-house counsel, particularly in the context leading compliance programs and investigations. For more information on any of these subjects contact Sarah Marmor at smarmor@scharfbanks.com.

Sarah Marmor is Lead Editor for New DRI Book

s-marmorPartner Sarah Marmor is the lead editor of a new book, Law Firm Practice Management.  Published by DRI aspart of its Defense Library Series, the book provides insights about how small andmedium-sized firm should be formed and managed to thrive in these challenging times. Far from a doom and gloom assessment, though, the book highlights ways in which small and medium sized firms increasingly can compete for the best legal work as efficient and skilled alternatives to sometimes unwieldy and expensive larger firms.  Ms. Marmor is one of three editors of the book, along with two other partners in smaller firms in California and Louisiana.  The book covers several topic areas, including Structuring Small and Mid Size Firms, Marketing, and Firm Culture. In addition to her editing duties, Ms. Marmor also contributed a chapter that discusses a topic close to home for Scharf Banks Marmor LLC: "Taking the Reins in Your Own Hands: Establishing a Minority or Women-Owned Law Firm."

Chicago Lawyer Interviews Stephanie Scharf About Strategies for Diversity

Chicago Lawyer interviewed partner Stephanie Scharf in its July 2014 issue about the challenges that firms face to enhance diversity in the workplace.  Among the comments made, Ms. Scharf observed that the biggest challenge is for a firm to settle on and develop a strategic approach with concrete goals so that they can map out the way their goals can be achieved consistent with the culture of the firm. Read the full article in Chicago Lawyer by clicking here.
 
 
 

Stephanie Scharf Interviewed on Law Firm Costs by Law360

stephanie-scharfAs part of a series of articles on the changing paradigm for outside legal services, Law360 interviewed partner Stephanie Scharf about law firm rates, especially at the partner level.  Ms. Scharf observed that law firms have had to make major adjustments to meet client demands for reasonable pricing of legal services, and those firms that provide value-based pricing are much more attractive to corporate clients.    For the full text of the articles click here and here.

Marilyn Chimes Authors Chapter on Confidential and Proprietary Information

marilyn-chimesMarilyn Chimes, Counsel with the Firm and Board-certified Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, has authored a chapter in "the Bible" for federally required animal welfare oversight committees within research institutions in the U.S. -- The IACUC Handbook 503 (CRC Press, 3rd ed. 2014), published on behalf of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Her chapter is entitled "Confidential and Proprietary Information" and was written with co-author Priya Sankar.  For more information about the handbook, click here: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466555648 

Sarah Marmor Appointed Chair of Fundraising Committee of LCA

s-marmorPartner Sarah Marmor was appointed the Chair of the Fundraising Committee of Lawyers for theCreative Arts (LCA), an organization that provides pro bono legal services and educational programs for artists. Ms. Marmor has been a member of the Board of Directors of LCA for the past year, and will now be chairing LCA's annual benefit in October, which will honor supporters of the LCA as well as leading lights in the Chicago arts world.

To learn more about LCA, go here.

Anti-Poaching Agreement Costs Apple, Google, Intel & Adobe $324.5 Million

By Ted Banks and Sarah Marmor

For many years, many people thought that agreements regarding employees were not covered by the antitrust laws.   Four major hi-tech companies have just learned that this is not necessarily so.  A deal among the major Silicon Valley employers -- Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe -- not to “poach” one another’s top employees has just resulted in a large payment to settle a class action lawsuit days before trial was to begin.  In re High-Tech Emp. Antitrust Litig., No. 5:11-cv-02509, (N.D. Cal.  May 22, 2014) (motion for preliminary approval of settlement).

The companies’ agreement first came to light after an investigation and then prosecution by the Department of Justice for violation of both antitrust and labor laws.   A class action then was instituted on behalf of 64,000 technical employees seeking $3 billion.  The problem?  If companies agree not to hire a class or group of employees, they are limiting competition for those employee’s services, and (at least in theory) reducing or controlling the salary that the employees can command due to the reduced demand.

Employers should be sensitive to any agreement with another company about employees, their salaries, or their benefits.  There is a very specific exception for employers to work together to jointly negotiate a union contract, but in the absence of a union situation, employers cannot work together without creating antitrust issues.   Employers should also be very careful about sharing information with competing employers, even if there is no formal agreement among them to use that information to control wages or the like.  HR departments often send out surveys of wages or benefits, and even if there is no agreement regarding the results of the survey, the mere fact that the employers communicated creates the inference that there was a tacit agreement to align their salaries and benefits.

There are ways to protect and preserve your employees – through appropriately tailored noncompete agreements.  And there are ways to obtain information about prevailing wages and benefits.  But these need to be done in consultation with counsel lest you inadvertently run into antitrust buzz saws from the government and private plaintiffs.

Ted Banks is head of the firm’s antitrust practice.  tbanks@scharfbanks.com

Sarah Marmor is head of the firm’s employment law practice. smarmor@scharfbanks.com

National Law Journal Honors Stephanie Scharf

stephanie-scharfPartner Stephanie Scharf was honoured on May 13, 2014 by the National Law Journal, who awarded Ms. Scharf and four other lawyers NLJ's first-ever Two Steps Ahead Award for contributions to advancing women in the law. At the award dinner in Chicago, Ms. Scharf thanked the “many people–including a number of you here tonight–who have touched and inspired me to focus on diversity in the legal profession.  I am especially grateful for the support I have received for my research on the ways in which women advance in their legal careers and how law firms can help that advancement.”  Ms. Scharf was featured in the April 24, 2014 National Law Journal  for helping to improve the status of women in corporate departments, in law firms, at law schools and in the business community. Stephanie’s work was described as “pathbreaking” especially her design and oversight of an annual national survey of the retention and promotion of women in law firms and the first-ever survey of women’s initiatives at law firms.  Click here to read the article. 

Wall Street Journal Interviews Stephanie Scharf

Partner Stephanie Scharf was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal about law firm billing rates, and WSJ’s findings that male partners are typically billed at higher rates than female partners.  As a former BigLaw partner in two AmLaw 100 firms, and founder of an annual survey of how women advance in firms, Ms. Scharf observed that partner billing rates often reflect the lawyer’s stature within the firm, which is not necessarily a direct consequence of their ability as a lawyer or marketability to clients.  Women lawyers are not promoted as often as men into law firm leadership roles, which means that billing rates and compensation for women partners are lower.  For more on the topic, go to the Wall Street Journal,  May 5, 2014 article. 

Sarah Marmor Interviewed about Illinois's Overturned Eavesdropping Act

See her appraisal of the decision in "Controversial Eavesdropping Law Stuck Down" published by the Columbia Chronicle on April 7, 2014.

Illinois Anti-Eavesdropping Law Held Unconstitutional -- Why It Matters to Your Business

s-marmor

           The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday that Illinois’ anti-eavesdropping law, which prohibited recording conversations without consent of all involved, was unconstitutional.  In The People of the State of Illinois v. Melongo, Docket No. 114852 (March 20, 2014) https://www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/SupremeCourt/2014/114852.pdf, Annabel Melongo was prosecuted under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act for recording her conversations with a Cook County court reporter and posting the recordings on her personal website.  The Supreme Court found that the law criminalized a wide range of innocent conduct and burdened “substantially more speech than was necessary to serve a legitimate state interest in protecting conversational privacy.”  The court also held unconstitutional a provision of the Act criminalizing publication of recorded conversations where all parties to the conversation had not consented to the records.

          Illinois’ anti-eavesdropping law was one of the strictest in the country.  Most other state laws permit recording conversations so long as one party – even the party making the recording – consents and/or is aware that a recording is being made.  The implications of this ruling are wide-ranging.  Employees now will be free to record their employers and potentially use the recordings in disputes over discrimination, harassment, overtime and the like.  Domestic disputes can now be recorded and used in family law matters.  There likely are applications to any number of commercial claims, and certainly to criminal matters.

          Some will see the ruling as a further erosion of spheres of privacy in our technological age.  However, the very fact that recording devices are so prevalent in our society made Illinois’ law seem antiquated and out of date.  Indeed, at oral argument, the State conceded that the Illinois Eavesdropping Act “could need an update in light of technology” that makes it easier to record people, but argued "that is a policy question for the Legislature.  Requiring consent is the surest way to protect privacy."  It remains to be seen whether the legislature will try to recraft the law to pass Constitutional muster.  In the meantime, Illinois companies should take this opportunity to alert their employees to this important change in the law.

          For further information please contact Sarah Marmor at smarmor@scharfbanks.com 

Is Your Antitrust Compliance Program Effective?

ted-banksTed Banks has written a new article for the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Compliance & Ethics Sportlight, "Is Your Antitrust Compliance Program Effective ?".  The article outlines how to make an antitrust compliance program work, and lists 30 questions you should ask about your program. For a copy of the article contact tbanks@scharfbanks.com

Attorneys Stephanie A. Scharf, Theodore Banks and George D. Sax Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

Congratulations to partners Stephanie A. Scharf and Theodore Banks, who have been recognized as 2014 Illinois “Super Lawyers” by Super Lawyers Magazine.  Ms. Scharf was recognized for her work in the Civil Litigation: Defense practice area and Mr. Banks was recognized for his work in the Business/Corporate practice area.  Both Ms. Scharf and Mr. Banks placed in the top 5% of Illinois lawyers in reviews by peer attorneys. This is the tenth year in a row that Ms. Scharf has received this honor and the third year in the row that Mr. Banks has received this honor.

Counsel George D. Sax was also named an Illinois "Rising Star" in the practice area of Business Litigation. Mr. Sax was ranked in the top 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois who are fewer than 40 years old or have less than 10 years of legal experience.  This is the fourth year in a row that Mr. Sax has received this honor.  

Firm Defeats Consumer Fraud Class Action, Obtains Dismissal with Prejudice

On December 16, 2013, the Firm obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all claims filed against client Stratford Career Institute, Inc., in a purported class action pleading a statutory consumer fraud count and a common law breach of contract count.  DeWeese et. al. v. Stratford Career Institute, No. 12 CH 18713, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.  The gist of the allegations was that the defendant had purportedly misrepresented the benefits of a distance learning program purchased by the plaintiffs.  In dismissing the action with prejudice, the court ruled that the requisite commonalities for a class action had not been shown,  and that the allegations on behalf of the named individuals did not rise to the level of a properly pleaded consumer fraud claim or breach of contract claim.   The defense team was headed by partner Stephanie Scharf and included partner Sarah Marmor, counsel George Sax, and paralegal Jean Casserly.

For further information, please contact Stephanie Scharf  sscharf@scharfbanks.com

Firm’s Philanthropy “With a Twist” Featured in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin headlined the Firm’s December 11 holiday party, featuring the event’s unique twist.  Guests chose an ornament representing one of three charities and then decorated a holiday tree with their choice.  At the end of the evening, the respective charities received a contribution from the Firm based on the number of ornaments placed on the tree for a given charity.  The three charities receiving contributions are Midwest Dachshund Rescue, Keep Chicago Beautiful, and KT’s Kids – all of which the Firm’s partners are active participants in.  Click here to read the full article.

Ted Banks Authors "Why Your Organization Needs a Cybersecurity Compliance Plan" in Law Technology News

ted-banksTed Banks discusses the case brought by the FTC against Wyndham Hotels for failing to protect credit card information, and its implication for corporate compliance programs.  The article appeared in the December 10, 2013 edition of Law Technology News.  Click here to read it in full.    

 

Ted Banks's Radio Interview About Food Industry Developments

Ted Banks will be interviewed about developments in the food industry on the Internet radio program "Money for Lunch" which will be available on Nov. 14, 2013 at www.moneyforlunch.com.

Sarah Marmor Heads Panel on Social Media Law at NAMWOLF’s Minneapolis Regional Conference

s-marmorOn September 24, 2013, Ms. Marmor led a panel of in house and law firm lawyers discussing the current and anticipate state of social media law in a variety of contexts: employment, marketing, third party vendor contracts and litigation discovery.  Along with lawyers from Accenture, Wells Fargo and a San Francisco law firm, Ms. Marmor identified emerging concerns and opportunities in this evolving area of the law. 

 

Banks Speaker at 2013 SCCE Compliance & Ethics Institute

ted-banksPartner Ted Banks was a featured speaker at the 2013 Compliance & Ethics Institute of the Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics, held in Washington, D.C. on October 6 -9.   Mr. Banks spoke on the topic of Automating Your Compliance Program, and addressed cutting edge  techniques for implementing an efficient compliance program.  For a copy of the outline from the program, please contact Ted at tbanks@scharfbanks.com

 

Scharf Speaker at "30 Women Blackstones" CLE Event

 Stephanie Scharf was a featured speaker at the “30 Women Blackstones” seminar held on August 22, 2013 in Chicago and hosted by Illinois State Bar Association President Paula Hudson Holderman.   Ms. Scharf spoke about the advancement of women in law practice including research from NAWL Foundation studies and personal perspectives on the challenges and successes of a law practice in today’s environment. The other panelists and seminar hosts (pictured here from left to right) included  Deane Brown, Immediate Past President of the WBAI; Hon. Anne Burke, Illinois Supreme Court;  Hon. Virginia Kendall, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois;  Hon. Rita Garmin, Illinois Supreme Court;  Winston & Strawn Partner Julie Bauer; Ms. Holderman;  Hon. Ann Williams, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit;  Dean Nina Appel, Dean Emerita, Loyola University School of Law;  Schiff Hardin & Waite Partner Patricia Brown Holmes; Hon. Diane Wood, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; and Scharf Banks Marmor Partner Stephanie Scharf. 

30 Women Blackstones

 

 

Firm Co-Hosts NAMWOLF Reception for In-House Counsel

On July 31, 2013, over 70 guests attended a Networking Reception for In-House Counsel held at Scharf Banks Marmor LLC’s offices.  The reception was co-sponsored by the Firm and 12 other Chicago area law firms, all members of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF). NAMWOLF is a nonprofit trade association comprised of leading minority and women-owned law firms. NAMWOLF’s Law Firm Membership is comprised of AV-rated firms across the nation which represent major corporate clients. For more information, go to www.namwolf.org.

Stephanie Scharf Appointed to Board of Chicago Bar Foundation

stephanie-scharfStephanie Scharf has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Chicago Bar Foundation, effective July 22, 2013.  “I am honored to have been selected by the CBF as a Board member and will work hard to provide the deep support that the Foundation deserves.”  The Chicago Bar Foundation is one of the country’s leading bar foundations, whose mission is to ensure that everyone in the Chicago area has equal access to justice, particularly the low-income and disadvantaged people who most critically need the protections of the legal system.  Through grants, advocacy, pro bono and partnerships, the CBF takes a system-wide approach to improving access to justice and focuses on objectives that are best achieved by the legal community working together.  For more information, go to chicagobarfoundation.org.

Sarah Marmor Joins the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts

s-marmorSarah R. Marmor has been elected to the Board of Lawyers for the Creative Arts.  A passionate supporter of the arts, Ms. Marmor is honored to serve this this important organization.  The LCA provides free legal service to financially eligible clients in all areas of the arts – the visual, performing, entertainment, literary, arts education and more.  The LCA helps individuals as well as for-profit and not-for-profit organizations with business issues, contracts, copyrights, trademarks and many other legal areas. To learn more, please visit www.law-arts.org. 

Sarah Marmor Named YWCA Ambassador

Sarah R. Marmor has been named to the Chicagoland YWCA Board of Ambassadors.  The YWCA will be celebrating its 137th year of service to the community and Ms. Marmor is proud to be to be a member of the Board of Ambassadors for this worthy organization.

Ted Banks Speaks on "Discrimination in Price and Promotions"

ted-banksTed Banks will speak on "Discrimination in Price and Promotions" as part of the Practising Law Institute Antitrust Institute 2013.  The panel will discuss the basis elements of the price discrimination violation, the concept of injury in primary, secondary, and tertiary lines of competition, the different rules applicable to advertising and promotional allowances, and new developments in the courts and FTC.  The program will be held in Chicago on June 10-11.  For more information go to www.pli.edu.

 

Ted Banks Chairs PLI Corporate Compliance and Ethics Institute

Ted Banks was the chair of the Practising Law Institute Corporate Compliance and Ethics Institute 2013,held in Chicago on May 9-10.  Attendees learned the essentials of compliance and ethics programs, the latest legal developments and new technological tools to make implementation of a compliance program more efficient, while having an opportunity to interact with colleagues and faculty members.  For more information go to www.pli.edu.

Firm Hosts Reception Featuring Author of "Politics, Health & Health Care"

On April 9, 2013, the Firm held a reception featuring "Politics, Health & Health Care" by Theodore R. Marmor and Rudolph Klein.  From Yale University Press:  "Two towering figures in the field of health care policy analysis, Theodore R. Marmor and Rudolf Klein, reflect on a lifetime of thought in this wide-ranging collection of essays published in the wake of Presidnet Obama's health care reform.  The book offers their recent writings on the future of Medicare; universal health insurance; conflicts of interest among physicians, regulators, and patients; and many other topics."  The Firm was delighted to welcome Theodore R. Marmor, professor emeritus of public policy, management, and political science at Yale University.

Stephanie Scharf Speaks at DRI Seminar on Jury Selection

stephanie-scharfOn March 14, 2013, Stephanie Scharf spoke at a DRI Seminar in Miami on "Jury Selection:  How to Find the Needle in the Haystack."  Dr. Scharf will speak on various aspects of jury selection, including the use of jury questionnaires, voir dire, and impact of unconscious bias in selecting jurors.

 

Ted Banks to Speak on ABA Antitrust Section Webinar

ted-banksOn March 15, 2013, Ted Banks will be a speaker on a webinar presented by the ABA Antitrust Section - Compliance & Ethics Committee, "Antitrust Programs and the AU Optronics Case."  In this case, the judge not only imposed a record-tying $500 million fine, but also honored the Division's recommendation to require an independent third-party antitrust compliance monitor - a first for an antitrust case.  The judge also mandated the implementation of an effective compliance and ethics program.  Are independent compliance monitors the wave of the future for antitrust enforcement?  What role should a compliance program play in an enforcement proceeding?  What concerns unique to antitrust should companies consider as they implement a compliance program? 

The program will start at 1:00 PM EST.  To register (no charge), click here.

Firm Hosts Attendees' Reception for PLI's Compliance & Ethics Institute

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC hosted a special reception for attendees at the Practising Law Institute's Compliance & Ethics Institute in Chicago on May 9-10, 2013.  Partner Ted Banks was chair of the program, and Partner Sarah Marmor assisted with the planning of the program, including preparation of materials on compliance issues related to social networking.  If you have any involvement with corporate compliance and ethics programs and would like more information on this course, please contact Ted Banks at tbanks@scharfbanks.com

Firm Hosts Meeting of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce

ted-banksScharf Banks Marmor hosted a meeting of the America-Israel Chamber of Commerce featuring Professor Mordechai Shechter on March 5, 2013.  Professor Shechter will be speaking on the Adaption of Climate Change in the Water Resource Sector - The Israeli Experience.  Professor Mordechai Shechter is the Founding Dean of the School of Sustainability at the Interdisciplinary Center and Chairman of the Research Committee in Economics at the Water Authority.  For more information, please Ted Banks at tbanks@scharfbanks.com.

Stephanie Scharf Invited Speaker at NYU Law School

stephanie-scharfPartner Stephanie Scharf spoke on March 1 at the New York University School of Law Symposium, "Breaking the Glass Ceiling" on the topic, "Gravel to the Glass:  Strategies for Reform."  Ms. Scharf's comments drew from her experience as a partner in large national law firms as well as starting a women-owned firm, and her role as a founder of NAWL Surveys regarding advancement of women in the legal profession.  Ms. Scharf is currently a member of the ABA Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity and the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

 

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC Attorneys Named Among Top Illinois Lawyers

January 2013

Congratulations to Stephanie A. Scharf, who was recognized as a 2013 Illinois "Super Lawyer" (for Civil Litigation Defense).  Ms. Scharf placed in the top 5% of Illinois lawyers in reviews by her peer attorneys.  This is the ninth year in a row that Ms. Scharf has received this honor.

Theodore L. Banks was recognized as a 2013 Illinois "Super Lawyer" (for Corporate Governance & Compliance).

Counsel George D. Sax was named an Illinois "Rising Star" in the field of Business Litigation.  Mr. Sax was ranked in the top 2.5% of attorneys in Illinois who are less than 40 years old or have less than 10 years of legal experience.

Ted Banks Named as Compliance Monitor by the Competition Bureau of Canada

ted-banksTed Banks was recently named as Compliance Monitor by the Competition Bureau of Canada to oversee compliance with a Consent Agreement issued in connection with a proposed joint venture between Air Canada and United Airlines.  According to the Agreement, the airlines are not allowed to share commercially sensitive information on 14 key routes between Canada and the United States where the Competition Bureau was concerned that the combined market share of the two carriers might lead to significant price increases.

 

Ted Banks Featured in Law Technology News

The latest issue of Law Technology News features attorney Ted Banks speaking his mind on the new iPad Mini and similar devices.  Read the article here.

ABA President Appoints Scharf to Presidential Task Force and Commission

stephanie-scharfAmerican Bar Association President Laurel Bellows has appointed Stephanie Scharf, effective August 8, 2012 to the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession as well as a special ABA Task Force to make recommendations for improving gender differences in lawyer compensation.  Ms. Scharf is well known for her statistical analysis of the progress of women in private practice, under the auspices of research conducted by the NAWL Foundation.   Commenting upon her appointment, Ms. Scharf stated: “I am deeply honored to be able to work with many distinguished lawyers involved with the Commission and the Task Force, and participate in moving the ABA forward in addressing these important issues."

Deirdre Fox Selected as Vice Chair of ISBA Copyright Subcommittee

deirdre-foxCounsel Deirdre Fox was selected to be Vice Chair of the Copyright Subcommittee of the Intellectual Property Section of the Illinois State Bar Association for 2012-2013.  The Copyright Subcommittee disseminates information about this area of law to other lawyers and to interested business owners, authors and inventors, promotes improvement in the applicability of the principals of these areas of law, especially through legislative efforts, and facilitates communication among Illinois lawyers concerned with this area of law.  Deirdre will put a special focus on helping to develop informative programming.

 

Scharf Gives Keynote about Women’s Initiatives

Partner Stephanie Scharf spoke to an invitation-only group of law firm leaders in New York City on July 18 on the effectiveness of Women’s Initiatives for advancing women in law.  Ms. Scharf spearheaded a recent first-ever national survey of legal initiatives, under the auspices of the NAWL Foundation, and presented the results and implications as part of her remarks.  To learn more about the survey, please go to nawlfoundation.org. 

Update on Corporate Compliance: New Statutes and Technology

ted-banksFirm partner Theodore L. Banks has written an article called "Preventive Measures in a New Age: Preparing for New Technology and New Statutes."  The article's topics range from issues of employer liability as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act, to the trend of social media in the workplace.  The article is an effective guide for developing compliance programs that meet the new challenges of today.  For a copy, please contact Ted at tbanks@scharfbanks.com.

 

Banks Co-authors Article on Antitrust Compliance

Partner Ted Banks co-authored an article in the Denver Journal of International law & Policy, "The International Law of Antitrust Compliance."  The article discusses the need for a global standard for antitrust compliance, just as there is for the substantive law of antitrust.  For a copy, please contact Ted at tbanks@scharfbanks.com

Firm Welcomes Summer Interns

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC is delighted to welcome its Summer Interns, all from the University of Chicago Law School.  Please meet our interns by clicking here: Paxton Williams (2L), Joshua Chow (1L) and Zach Mayo (1L).

Firm Featured for its Innovations in Law Practice Management

Several publications have featured the Firm’s innovative approach to law practice management, including use of state-of-the-art technology and flex-time hiring.  See recent articles published in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin and Law Technology News describing the goals and culture of the Firm.

View Chicago Daily Law Bulletin article | View Law Technology News article

Sarah Marmor Appointed Ambassador for ALCC

s-marmorSarah R. Marmor has become a member of the Board of Ambassadors of the Aids Legal Council of Chicago.  Ambassadors work to increase awareness of the AIDS Legal Council of Chicago and raise funds to support its services for low-income people with HIV. Ms. Marmor was a member of the Board of the AIDS Legal Council from 1998-2006.

 

 

Eric Quandt Course Director for National Sports Medicine and Sports Law Conference

Eric Quandteric-quandt was Course Director of the 2012 National Sports Medicine and Sports Law Conference, hosted by the Big East Conference Sports Medicine Society, in Clearwater, Florida, on May 14 and May 15.   The conference featured leading experts on controversial medical and legal topics involving team physicians, athletic trainers, risk managers, athletic directors, and in-house counsel at colleges and universities. Mr. Quandt was interviewed by the Daily Law Bulletin about the conference and the emerging legal issues.

 

Stephanie Scharf Interviewed by Today's Chicago Woman

stephanie-scharfPartner Stephanie Scharf was interviewed by Today's Chicago Woman for the article “Women in Law: The Path to Partner.”   Ms. Scharf, current President of the NAWL Foundation and founder of the NAWL Survey on Retention and Promotion of Women,   is well known for her leadership on initiatives to advance women in the legal profession.  The NAWL Survey is  the only research that annually tracks the role of women in the highest levels of law firm practice and leadership.