Corporate Counsel Institute

Date: Jan 17, 2024 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: New Jersey Law Center, New Brunswick and Online

Member Price: $179

Non-Member Price: $224

Section Price: $168

Event Code: I146024

Areas of Law: In-House Counsel

Earn up to 6.4 credits, including 1.5 in Diversity! (More Information)




Natalya G. Johnson, Esq.
Immediate Past President, Garden State Bar Association
Senior Counsel, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick


Nicole Bearce, Esq.
VP, Deputy General Counsel, Chief Ethics and Privacy Officer
Veronica Berruz, Esq.
Senior Counsel, Technology, Johnson & Johnson
J. Danielle Carr
Chief Inclusion Officer, Lowenstein Sandler, LLP
Shirley U. Emehelu, Esq.
Executive Assistant Attorney General
Office of Attorney General, Trenton
Abigail Epane-Osuala, MBA
Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer & HR Strategic Initiatives, GE Healthcare
Lora L. Fong, Esq.
Past Trustee, NJSBA
Assistant Attorney General & Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer
Office of Attorney General, Trenton
Sharmila Jaipersaud, Esq.
President, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
Vice President & Associate General Counsel, Hackensack Meridian Health
Clara Jimenez, Esq.
Senior Counsel, IP Litigation, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick
Robert L. Johnson, Esq.
Corporate Director & Chief Diversity Officer, Gibbons P.C, Newark
Stephen Kim, Esq.
Chief Legal Office & General Counsel, Avicanna
Cristal Lambert, Esq.
Former Senior Corporate Counsel u2013 Litigation, , Westfield
Brian McDonough, Esq.
Kessler PR Group, Ocean
Tracy E. Miller, Esq.
Former Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Catholic Health Services of Long Island
Machelle Morey, Esq.
Vice President & General Counsel, Atlas Copco North America, LLC
Jeff A. Pade, Esq.
Partner, Paul Hastings
Rajiv D. Parikh, Esq.
Partner, PEM Law, LLP, West Orange
Nate Saint Victor, Esq.
General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer, Engine No.1, LP, New York

Presented in cooperation with the NJSBA In-House Counsel Special Committee

Seminar Chairperson: Natalya G. Johnson, Esq., Senior Counsel at Johnson & Johnson

Today’s businesses are moving at a faster pace than ever before. Rapidly evolving technology, a largely global and remote work force, and drastic changes in the political, legal and regulatory landscapes, make the role of in-house counsel vital for success. The most effective in-house counsel go beyond answering legal strategy questions, they help navigate complex ethical issues, respond to crisis, or provide a different take on risk management, and creative solutions to new and evolving threats. 

The 2024 NJSBA Corporate Counsel Institute will tackle some of the key issues that keep in-house up at night, and aim to provide pragmatic and actionable lessons that can be implemented by the busy in-house practitioner. Join us!

Program Agenda:

  • 9:00 | Introduction
  • 9:05 | Panel Discussion I How to Manage a Crisis and Come Out on Top 
    - Moderator: Rajiv Parikh, Esq.
    - Presenters: Brian McDonough, Esq.; Cristal Lambert, Esq.; Nicole Bearce, Esq.; Veronica Berruz, Esq.

    From pandemics to supply chain interruptions, employee transgressions to market downturns, war zones to the effects of climate change, every company at some point will face a crisis. This panel of crisis management experts will show you how to prepare and even thrive when the unexpected happens.  

    The moderator is Rajiv Parikh, who recently served as part of Governor Phil Murphy’s trade delegation to India, was transition counsel to the governor and has worked closely with the governor and his senior team on issues of statewide importance including crisis management. The speakers’ panel consists of:  Brian McDonough with Kessler PR, who utilizes his legal experience to provide strategic crisis communications counsel and litigation support to clients confronted with complex and high-profile matters: Crystal Lambert, an accomplished senior in-house counsel responsible for managing compliance, commercial litigation, policy, regulatory and transactional matters for a Fortune 500 retail company; and Nicole Bearce, Vice President, Associate General Counsel, Head of Litigation and Employment, Chief Ethics and Privacy Officer at Conduent, a global, technology-led, digital interactions BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) pioneer.

    Together, they will draw on their wealth of knowledge and experience to provide you with concrete steps for managing a crisis. Topics include: what you can do prior to a crisis to lay the groundwork, immediate responses that will stem the fallout, how to designate and assign specific duties to members of a crisis management team, how to get out your message while protecting privileged information and longer term plans that will lead to success.  

  • 10:20 | Networking and Sponsor Break 
  • 10:30 | Panel Discussion II – Can You Keep a Secret? A Practical Primer on Protecting and Enforcing Trade Secrets 
    - Moderator: Clara Jimenez, Esq.
    - Presenters: Shirley U. Emehelu, Esq.; Jeff Pade, Esq.

    With a changing landscape of patent value and enforcement, more and more companies are relying on trade secrets to protect assets.  This panel will provide practical perspectives on how to effectively protect this highly valuable information in a more mobile and decentralized environment. Our panel will also explore what recourses may be available for victims of trade secret misappropriation in the civil and criminal contexts, and what in-house needs to know before they are prompted to respond to a crisis.

  • 12:00 | Lunch
  • 12:45 | Panel Discussion III – Diversity Equity and Inclusion: Erasing Tension Between Social Obligation and the Bottom Line 
    - Moderator: Robert L. Johnson, Esq.
    - Presenters: Ms. Lora L. Fong, Esq.; Abigail Epane-Osuala; J. Danielle Carr

    It’s no secret that there is tension between doing the right thing for the right reasons in the DE&I context and avoiding inappropriate bias.  Put another way, how do we recognize the value of diversity without appearing biased and risking litigation?  What will convince law firms that DE&I is not a marketing ploy or simple favoritism but rather a business initiative for financial success?

    Most are aware of “The Harvard Case” concerning race conscious admissions.  Many of us await what the Supreme Court of the United States will do next and worry that the other shoe will drop within the corporate context. 

    In this panel discussion including experts with a variety of backgrounds and professional disciplines, we will recognize this tension as we sit on the precipice, as usual, of equity.  We will seek to demystify what the goal of DE&I and hopefully to expand our attendees’ understanding of how deep and wide the concepts of diversity, equity and inclusion can reach within the corporate sphere.

    DEI is so much more than just acquiring the right talent.  It is a product production plan, it is a marketing strategy it is a management perspective and to many professionals, it is a way of life. 

    Is the apparent push back against the diversity, equity and inclusion movement a false cover for racism and other discrimination? To what extent has it become a real concern for the companies that recognize the value in DEI practices in their organizations and how can companies communicate that value to consumers? How do we incorporate best practices for DEI into training, management and internal policy while it appears to constantly change?

  • 2:00 | Networking and Sponsor Break
  • 2:10 | Panel Discussion IV - General Counsel Roundtable on the changing responsibilities of general counsel 
    Moderator: Sharmila Jaipersaud, Esq.
    - Presenters: Nate Saint Victor, Esq.; Stephen Kim, Esq.; Machelle Morey, Esq. 

    The role of corporate general counsel is ever-changing.  Nowadays, a GC must have significant knowledge of not only corporate compliance with the written law but also developing social perspectives on the environment/social/governance management perspectives, cybersecurity, data privacy, artificial intelligence, and DE&I initiatives. Our moderator will lead a discussion on the evolving role of general counsel and the responsibilities that attorneys have for continued education and monitoring of social expectations within their client’s industry and its customers.

  • 3:30 | Adjourn

CLE Credits
NJ CLE:NJ CLE information: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 6.4 hours of total CLE credit, including 1.5 in Diversity (Full Credits Available: NJ Advanced Diversity: 1.5, NJ General: 4.9).
NY CLE (t&nt):NY Diversity Non-Transitional: 1.5, NY Professional Practice Non-Transitional: 4.5
PA CLE:PA Ethics Credit: 1.0, PA Substantive Credit: 4.0
New: No PACLE fee is required for this program. To earn PA CLE credits, a valid PA Bar ID number must be entered into the CLE form provided after attending the program.

Important Information About Our Events, Meetings, and More:
To secure your spot and receive important updates about our events, meetings, and other gatherings, such as schedule changes, remember to register in advance.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:
If you need to cancel your registration and are not transferring to another program or date, please submit a written request to us at least three business days before the event, meeting, or gathering. You will receive a refund minus a $20.00 cancellation fee. No refunds or registration changes will be issued within three business days of the event, meeting, or gathering.

Stay Informed:
Registered participants will be notified of any schedule changes. For updates regarding inclement weather, please check your email or visit

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Scholarship & Financial Assistance Policy:
Read our Scholarship & Financial Assistance Policy and submit an Application here:



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