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As part of the new Committee Structure adopted by the NAMWOLF Board of Directors, The Board adopted guidelines and requirements for the formation and operation of the Practice Area Committees.  These are listed below.

I.  Formation of Practice Area Committees.  

Practice Area Committees are formed based upon the substantive area of law practiced.   There are currently four such Committees, but we envision more being created.

    1. Financial Services Litigation

    2. International Law

    3. IP Practice Area Committee – lawyers who practice IP Law.

    4. Labor & Employment Practice Area Committee – lawyers who practice Labor & Employment Law.

    5. Products Liability

    6. Retail Restaurant & Hospitality

    7. White Collar Defense and Internal Investigations

    8. Trials

    9. Transactional Practice Area Committee – lawyers who practice Transactional Law.

    10. Insurance Practice Area Committee – lawyers who practice insurance law.

    11. Others (for example: Products Liability, Workers Compensation, Healthcare, Bankruptcy, etc.)  Martindale-Hubbell has a list that is instructive, but we do not want to define these too narrowly.  We want to allow flexibility and fluidity and be able to respond quickly to IHC requests and the changing market demands.  However, the Board requires that as a condition of a new practice area committee being created, the following factors must exist or be met:

      1. The practice area is one generally recognized in the profession as a specialty area, such as being on the used by Martindale-Hubbell or the ABA;

      2. The practice area will not materially overlap or conflict with the generally accepted scope of the practice area of an existing Practice Area Committee;

      3. There are at least ten NAMWOLF member firms who are prepared to sign on to and participate in the new committee who have substantial experience practicing in the proposed area unless the Board determines on a case by case basis that there should be an exception to this number;

      4. The proponents of the formation of such committee have developed and present to the Board for approval a detailed action plan addressing the following:

  1. The focus of the proposed committee;

  2. The number of NAMWOLF member firms whose practices include the practice area of the committee and their identities;

  3. The perceived need for creation of the proposed committee and anticipated opportunities for NAMWOLF and its members;

  4. Whether there exists any Advisory Council or Corporate partner support or encouragement for the creation of such committee;

  5. The resources that such committee anticipates needing from NAMWOLF and its staff to fulfill the proposed action plan;

  6. The proposed source of revenues for any expenses of the proposed committee;

  7. A detailed budget covering at least the first year of the proposed committee’s existence;

  8. The identities of the proposed Chairs, Co-Chairs and other leaders of the committee (These must be approved by the Executive Committee);

  9. Satisfaction of any additional guidelines or requirements that the Board may adopt from time to time regarding creation of such Practice Area Committees.

II. Operation of Practice Area Committees.

  1. There should be at least one Board Member assigned to each Committee unless the Board decides otherwise on a case-by-case basis.

  2. The Chairs / Co-Chairs are responsible for keeping an accurate record of every committee / subcommittee member, including name, firm name, mailing and email address, and phone number, and for providing staff with the list. 

  3. The Chairs of the Committees are required to submit regular Reports, Budgets, and Goals (monthly or in advance of each Board Meeting).

  4. The Board will regularly review all the current committees listed on the Registry to see if they comply with all of the eligibility requirements. If not, they should be given a limited amount of time to comply.

  5. There will be an annual review of all committees to see if an extension should be adopted and all standing practice area committees should be required to submit an annual action plan and budget, including the names of proposed successor Chairs and co-Chairs for vetting by the Board.

Committees are encouraged to work with other Committees to approach specific industries and create informal, cross-practice area “industry-initiatives”.  For example, the recent FHLB visit.  

As long as there is Board approval or as is consistent with the original or any amended action plan of the committee approved by the Board, each Committee can have different subcommittees. 

Committees can form internal “alliances” where Committee members join together to share resources or to collaborate with each other on a specific project (as is being done by the IP Committee).

Committees can develop “initiatives” where committee members (alone or working with other practice area committees) approach specific industries within the practice areas of the committee (e.g., pursuing the life sciences sector or the pharma industry).

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