{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "I report to a VP who also handles HR. I am working on building FCPA policies and a compliance program. Today she told me she needs to check with an outside attorney to see if CA law will cause issues for us. . . I just need to vent. I’m trying to figure out why is she paying me, but then again I totally shouldn’t care!! I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t report to someone with no legal background.", "post_id": "60088324f46de80021721df2", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5dc50686129b3e0021a249b4", "bowl_name": "In-House Counsel" }

I report to a VP who also handles HR. I am working on building FCPA policies and a compliance program. Today she told me she needs to check with an outside attorney to see if CA law will cause issues for us. . . I just need to vent. I’m trying to figure out why is she paying me, but then again I totally shouldn’t care!! I’ve learned my lesson. Don’t report to someone with no legal background.

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As outside counsel, could this be an approach to limit costs by having you do the actual work, and limit liability by having OC approve? I don’t understand the tasks at issue, but just food for thought maybe.

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Disregard if you're already in CA, but given how difficult and stringent CA law is, could purely be a CYA move

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We aren’t in CA, but my venting more so is her lack of understanding of the law and her wanting to play attorney by eliminating me being involved with the outside counsel discussion. Also, her failure to understand FCPA deals with criminal charges and the policy literarily says if you break the law you could be terminated. Now if we were calling to check for additional notices, I would be more receptive which I already plan to make sure there aren’t additional state requirements. However, She wants to check to make sure there is not conflict. . . between CA and Fed Law. . . And that as an employer we can make a policy like this....

The struggle is real. Getting the managers, and in particular the manager to whom you report, to trust you can be a challenge. It takes a lot of time and patience (I've been in house for five years and I'm still working on this every day). Depending on the personality of your manager you may never fully get there. Having upper management's support of in house attorneys is critical. And allowing stakeholders to go to outside counsel without involving in house counsel in both the decision and the communications can be a costly mistake: they may not understand the advice entirely, they may forget it after a week, or they may hear only what they want to hear. They need help, but they also don't want to feel as though you are directing them (because they are your boss). It's a delicate relationship. I don't have any great advice, but I did want to lend an empathetic ear.

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Can't you say that it is important that you be looped directly on all calls/comms with outside counsel? Try that! Dont let her sidebar, interpret the law, and filter it back to you incorrectly!

Honestly--I'd look for another job where you dont report to a non-attorney.

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