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ACC Oregon Hosts Wine Tasting and CLE Program

Photo: Members of ACC Oregon visit the offices of chapter sponsor Markowitz Herbold PC to taste wines and attend a CLE program.

A CC Oregon members packed the conference room at the offices of chapter sponsor Markowitz Herbold PC in downtown Portland on October 5, to taste rare wines and attend a CLE program.

The firm opened up their famous cellar to pour several unique vintages from Washington, Idaho, and California for nearly 30 members of the chapter in advance of the session entitled “In-house Counsel as Witness — Panacea or Disaster?”

With litigants seeking to depose in-house counsel, and judges increasingly holding the corporate client/in-house attorney relationship as sacrosanct, the corporate landscape has been slowly shifting. Depositions and trial testimony of in-house counsel bring up a host of concerns, including ethical issues, attorney-client privilege waivers, and disclosure of proprietary information. Chad Colton and Renee Routhage, shareholders and trial attorneys at Markowitz Herbold PC, addressed what in-house attorneys can do to testify without stepping on landmines.

They shared some telling examples of recent cases where ill-prepared counsel on the witness stand proved disastrous for the companies they represented. Colton and Routhage focused on the importance of witness preparation for even the most seasoned attorneys, and mentioned that that they hold a special witness boot camp for in-house counsel who are called to testify. They also shared best practices for in-house counsel who often wear more than one hat within their company.

This event gave ACC Oregon members a terrific opportunity to network with some superb wines in hand, and provided a unique insight into what it’s like when the tables are turned and how to better prepare themselves should they be asked to be a witness in the future.

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