Every day, manufacturers face complex legal and regulatory challenges that can harm their companies’ bottom lines. Too often, in-house legal staff are forced to navigate this difficult and unpredictable climate alone.
That’s where the NAM’s Manufacturing Legal Summit comes in to provide support. Held on Nov. 6–7 in Washington, D.C., the second-annual Legal Summit brought together in-house counsel from manufacturing companies across the nation to share vital information and practical tools to address the ever-changing legal and regulatory landscape.
“From changes in the law to an increase in enforcement actions to an onslaught of new regulations, manufacturers are facing a more complicated legal environment than ever before,” said NAM Deputy General Counsel for Litigation Erica Klenicki. “Our summit offers the kind of practical legal tools manufacturers need to succeed—and a national network of manufacturing peers that doesn’t exist anywhere else.”
Exploring issues: The Legal Summit covered a range of topics, including the following:
- Supply chain integrity: A team of experts from the law firm Foley & Lardner (partners Greg Husisian, Elizabeth Haas and Marcos Carrasco Menchaca) and Aurorium General Counsel Fernanda Beraldi discussed new supply chain integrity requirements, helping participants understand shifting rules and providing practical solutions to identify and manage risks.
- The NLRB: The priorities and actions of the current National Labor Relations Board present a significant pro-labor shift. Fisher Phillips Managing Partners Steve Mitchell and Steve Bernstein offered context and a critical look ahead.
- Data privacy: Husch Blackwell Partner David Stauss laid out the trends and implications of privacy law at the state and federal level.
- Cyber risk: In a presentation from Baldwin Risk Partners National Director of Cyber Product Emily Perry Short, attendees learned about the impact of cyberattacks and regulations—and what manufacturers need to know to keep their businesses safe.
- SCOTUS: A conversation between former Acting Solicitor General of the United States Neal Katyal and NAM Chief Legal Officer Linda Kelly offered a behind-the-scenes look at oral advocacy before the U.S. Supreme Court and laid out the stakes for manufacturers in the Court’s upcoming term.
- Product liability: Participants learned about best practices for navigating adverse events in regulated industries from a panel comprised of former Commissioner of the Consumer Product Safety Commission Joseph Mohorovic, two seasoned products liability attorneys, Steve Karg and Carol Welborn Reisman, and an in-house counsel at GE Appliances, Jeff Sefton.
- Ethics: Tom Spahn, counsel for McGuireWoods, led an interactive program addressing ethical issues for in-house counsel.
Creating a network: In addition to providing practical knowledge and real-world strategies, the Legal Summit offered manufacturing counsel the opportunity to meet one another, exchange ideas and develop a strong network.
- “General counsels offices for manufacturers are spread out across the country, and so rarely have a chance to convene as a group,” said Michael Tilghman, litigation counsel at the NAM. “That’s something that’s very unique to this summit, which is a great opportunity to build supportive networks.”
Making waves: Participants shared positive reactions to the program.
- “The feedback shared by my team was overwhelmingly positive and complimentary of the job your (small, but mighty) team did in putting together the agenda and speakers,” said Jason Brown, vice president, general counsel and secretary of GE Appliances. “Kudos to [the NAM Legal Center] and those behind the scenes that supported you in this effort. It is already on our calendar for next year.”
The last word: “The NAM Legal Center is an incredible resource and an important part of navigating the current climate,” said Klenicki. “I hope that participants come away from this summit not only with new tools and understanding, but with the knowledge and appreciation that the NAM Legal Center has their back.”