June 19, 2017

My almost kinda last note of the school year….

Many, many thanks to all those who helped make Wednesday night’s final, huge gathering of the 15th LFMP year so great. Arielle Lapiano and her team at Paul Hastings provided us with beautiful space, superb sound, and food that will not soon be forgotten. Love that guacamole. And thanks for the scrumptious cheesecake! You shouldn’t have (even though I demanded it).

American Lawyer brass: Executive Editor Gina Passarella; Managing Editor Emily Barker; Global Managing Editor and Head of the Litigation Desk Melissa Hoffmann; and Deputy Editor for the Business of Law Brian Baxter were a great panel, leading us into American Lawyer’s newest ideas, how to approach them with stories, what NOT to do on a pitch, and plans for the year ahead. A good deal on their pet peeves, too, always helpful in keeping us on the straight and narrow. The audiofile, of course, is right here: www.If_you_want_to_hear_the_content_I_guess_you’ll_have_to_show_up.com

It was a great year with compelling guests ranging from the Wall Street Journal to Experts on Sports and Law, to Law 360’s panel, to our own group’s homegrown experts on content, crisis and excitement. Oooo, and Ari Melber, too! The Board had its first plenary meeting for next year just last week, and some programs are already in formation. Your fresh, impertinent ideas are most welcome in my inbox, or those of any of the board.

And speaking of the Board, my thanks to all of them for their continued support, leadership on programs, and non-stop razzing about my age and ego. Jeez, some people, they just never stop……Oh, wait. Thanks so much, Maziel Abrego (Vedder Price), David Brooks (of McCarter English); Catherine Hausman (Paul Weiss), Xenia Kobylarz, (soon to be of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, leaving King & Spalding), Susan Peters (Greybridge P.R.) and newest board member, Amy Fantini of Weil Gotshal. You are all appreciated more than I probably ever get around to saying. I am pleased and proud to call you not only colleague, but friend.

2017-’18 HOSTS NEEDED: Many of you have been the targets of my calls, imploring you and your firms to host our events. How about, this time, you offer without the begging? Certainly, any firm that regularly sends its people to meetings can afford to host and feed us once every year or 18 months. Would you kindly ask your overseers about hosting us next year? We’ve never canceled one for lack of venue, but we came close twice this last year. Let’s get our venues in place. Midtown space preferred, but downtown is doable in a pinch. End of nagging. Please contact me with your availability.

LFMP Mentoring Program, Second Round!

A few years back, we ran a very successful pairing of mentors and mentees, with duos meeting by phone and in person several times each (sometimes dozens!) as the mentees tried to a) improve their skills; b) figure out how to move up in their firms or in the profession; c) tackle difficulties that come up on the job gracefully and politically; d) whatever!

We’d like to do that again. If you have four or fewer years’ experience, or even if you have more but think you’d benefit from meeting with a senior practitioner, Put “LFMP Seeking a Mentor” in the re line, and drop me a note, being as specific as possible about the kind of support you’re looking for.

If you are a veteran communicator/marketer/genius (let’s say 7 years +?) and you’d like to be of service, please put 'LFMP Seeking a Mentee' in the re line, and tell me what you have to offer. I’ll do the pairing, confidentially, so send it to me directly, not to the LFMP address.

As I hope you know, I’m at jpeck@duanemorris.com

Both mentees and mentors can be either from the in-house law firm side or agency side.. All brains will be useful. Journalists looking to join the Dark Side welcome, too.


A revived Boston presence is planned for LFMP, so if you either go there to visit your office, or know someone who should know, please send me names and addresses, and I will forward to the Boston leadership. While I’m at it, many thanks to John Buchanan of Reed Smith, who re-started the San Fran chapter last year, and Beth Huffman, who plugs on wonderfully with the Washington chapter. London’s chapter is up and running wonderfully for more than two years now, thanks to Infinite Global in London! Houston? South Florida? Los Angeles? We’re waiting…


You wouldn’t be seeing this information, wouldn’t know about our meetings, wouldn’t have a place to go on those weekday nights, if not for the outstanding support and hand-holding provided year-round by Jamie Diaferia (newly named one of 540 Game-Changers in P.R. by PR NEWS!) and his tri-coastal firm, Infinite Global. They have provided all the administrative back-up for our emails, attendee lists, and job listings for years now, and we literally wouldn’t exist or survive without them. Infinite’s fee, of course, has been a whopping zero dollars and zero cents. Their woman on the front line is Sophie Cikovsky, who I hope is blushing as she reads and sends this. She is always present, and makes changes happen quickly and adjusts to all kinds of unexpected development. Thanks so much, Sophie! Come visit from that Place-on-the-Bay
Pedro Vega of Animus Rex, unsung hero: Pedro and his team have been running our website for several few years, asking for no money or thanks. They can’t have the former, but they have the latter, and most sincerely. It can’t be easy to work with us and all our ridiculous changes and updates. Oh, and those job listings.

Their custom website for your perusal is here: It will show you how very good they are:

Please think of them when you’re looking for a “do” or a “redo.”

Over and out, till we meet in September.

March 23, 2017 - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

You’ve seen – and represented – them both: the attorney who is cocky, bordering on reckless when dealing with journalists, and the lawyer who is too media-shy for his/her own good.

Once you’ve landed the interview for your lawyers, the next step is to prepare them to be helpful to journalists and to walk the fine line between being unduly reticent and overly aggressive. Toward that end:

Panel discussion on training lawyers to be good interviewees and how to make the most of interview opportunities, including:

  • Best practices/pet peeves
  • Value of backgrounders
  • Managing expectations on both sides 
  • On the record vs. off the record vs. background interviews


Whats: LFMP NY Program

When: March 23, 2017 - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


Rubenstein - Worldwide Plaza, 825 Eighth Avenue (entrance west of 50th street and 8th Avenue facing courtyard – “Rubenstein” listed at security desk)


March 22, 2017 - 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

Please join the Washington D.C. LFMP chapter on March 22 as Lloyd Pearson and Lauren Hughes discuss the latest changes in directory submissions.  This dynamic duo are uniquely positioned to give us update!  Lloyd has been an innovative figure in the field for more than 20 years, having worked as a researcher and editor at Chambers, as well as been in-house managing submissions.  Lauren, currently with Ropes & Gray handling its directory submissions, was previously the US editor of Legal 500.   In addition, broadcasting from London will be Rieta Ghosh, Editor-in-Chief of Chambers, who will give us an update on Chambers Connect.


RSVP: beth.huffman@dechert.com

Whats: Washington announcement

When: March 22, 2017 - 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm


Dechert LLP, 1900 K Street NW
Washington, D.C.

Special Instructions: Closest Metro stops are Farragut North or West
February 23, 2017 - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Peter Shankman is an entrepreneur, CEO, runner, skydiver, podcaster, Ironman Triathlete, and most importantly, a dad. He’s the founder of ShankMinds: Breakthrough, a private, online entrepreneur community with hundreds of members around the world.

Peter Shankman is an entrepreneur, CEO, runner, skydiver, podcaster, Ironman Triathlete, and most importantly, a dad. He’s the founder of ShankMinds: Breakthrough, a private, online entrepreneur community with hundreds of members around the world. He’s perhaps best known for founding HARO, or Help a Reporter Out, the world’s largest source repository. His customer service and social media clients have included American Express, NBC, Universal, E Entertainment, Sprint, the US Department of Defense, Royal Bank of Canada, Saudi Aramco, Snapple, Walt Disney World, and many others. Peter is the author of four books, including his most recent best seller, Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans. Peter also hosts the top-rated Faster Than Normal Podcast, helping people understand that ADD and ADHD is a gift, not a curse. And best of all, he has promised to focus his social media comments, observations, anecdotes and advice on corporate law and lawyers, meaning our favorite topic.

Whats: February 23 LFMP: World’s greatest social media expert, Peter Shankman!

When: February 23, 2017 - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


O’Melveny & Meyers, 7 Times Square (which is to say Broadway between 41-42, west side of the street)

Eats: Of course, and thanks to OMM, Emily Lattal and Chris Till for that!

Why: Do I really have to explain? He’s funny and smart, too. And did not pay me to say this.


November 17, 2016 - 6:31 pm to 8:30 pm

Meet the reporters who broke some of this year's headline-grabbing stories and learn from the crisis communications professionals who represent the high-profile clients at the center of these news controversies. A panel of experts will use real-life case studies, ripped from recent headlines, to discuss how reporters and media professionals handle high-wattage litigation.

Panelists include journalists David Margolick of Vanity Fair; New York Magazine writer Gabriel Sherman, who broke the Gretchen Carlson/Roger Ailes Fox News story, and crisis communications gurus Allan Ripp, who represented Carlson during the litigation with Fox, and before that, Martin Shkreli and Turing Pharma during the "pricing scandal" of the last year. Finally, we will host Jonathan Gasthalter, who represented some of the world's most prominent hedge fund leaders during white collar crime accusations. The panel will address the PR/legal dynamics and how both sides can work effectively in covering news relating to complex litigation.

Whats: Behind the Headlines: Covering and Managing High Profile Litigation-related Crisis Situations

When: November 17, 2016 - 6:31 pm to 8:30 pm


Kramer Levin, 1177 Sixth Avenue (at 45th Street)

October 27, 2016 - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

After a record year in 2015 for M&A, 2016 has seen a sharp decline in deals. Deal-making activity involving U.K. companies plummeted more than 80 percent after Brexit, but are we starting to see a glimmer of hope returning for such deals?

For our second installment this fall, we invite you for a stimulating conversation exploring this and other hot topics affecting international mergers and acquisitions – such as trends coming down the pike and how to manage media attention in a cross-border deal. Lauren Hirsch, deals reporter at Reuters, David Marcus, senior writer at The Deal, and perhaps an additional journalist TBD, will join Valerie Demont, partner in the Corporate and Securities Practice Group at Pepper Hamilton and head of the firm’s U.S. – India Practice Group for our standard panel-type discussion, moderated by Joshua Peck.

Space is somewhat limited, so please RSVP early. Please limit your “yesses” to one or two (max) per firm or agency.

Who: Lauren Hirsch, Reuters; David Marcus, The Deal; Valerie Demont, Pepper Hamilton

Why: Because it will be great

Eats: Obviously

Whats: LFMP October Program: Exploring International M&A

When: October 27, 2016 - 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm


Pepper Hamilton LLP, The New York Times Building, 620 Eighth Avenue, 37th Floor, New York, NY 10018

Special Instructions: RSVP
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