BR&C Chicago Office Professional Policy Manual Effective June 1, 2006 This document is intended to inform associates of Barnes, Richardson & Colburn policies effective in the Chicago office. The policies apply to all associates and other professional employees (collectively “associates”) employed in the Chicago office whether located on site or elsewhere. Partners may, from time to time and solely within their discretion, make exceptions to these policies. This manual does not change existing policies. It is intended only to aggregate existing policies in one document. Any questions should be directed to the partner designated for personnel matters or the managing partner of the Chicago office.
Work Schedules Office hours Associates are expected to be present in the office as necessary to complete the projects assigned to them within established deadlines. However, the office is generally considered “open” from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on business days. During those hours, associates are expected to be present and reasonably available to partners and clients. Lunch should generally be no longer than one hour. Holidays A list of holidays on which the office will be closed is circulated at the beginning of each year. Vacation and Other Absences Associates are entitled to vacation days as follows: Employed: January 1 - February 28 15 business days March 1 - May 31 10 business days June 1 - September 305 business days Second year 3 weeks (consisting of 15 business days) Third year and thereafter 4 weeks (consisting of 20 business days) Vacation days do not accumulate from year to year. Requests for vacation time should be submitted to the partner in charge of personnel issues as soon as is practicable. Notice of at least one week is expected. After approval by the partners, the associate should announce vacation absences to the entire office for purposes of scheduling. This may be done at an office meeting or via e-mail.
While associates are on vacation, contact information should be left with the partners and Office Manager. In addition, if reasonably practicable, associates on vacation should daily check and respond to e-mail and voicemail and should communicate via phone with the receptionist. If it will not be reasonably practicable to stay in communication, appropriate arrangements must be made with the relevant partners prior to leaving for the vacation. Associates should recognize that partners have the discretion to refuse requests for vacations based upon business needs. This is particularly likely at certain times throughout the year when several associates may wish to take vacations simultaneously. In these cases, associates will be asked to reschedule their vacations at their own expense. As a result, associates are cautioned to discuss scheduling before purchasing tickets or incurring other personal expenses. Planned absences of less than a day but more than an hour should be communicated to the partners as soon as possible. After discussion with the partners, these absences should be announced to the entire office for purposes of scheduling. Vacation days accrue on a monthly basis over the course of the year in which they are being earned. This means if you are entitled to 15 vacation days per year and your employment terminates after six months of the year, you are entitled to 7.5 paid vacation days less any vacation days already taken in that year. Sick days Associates are entitled to six sick days per year. Sick days do not accumulate from year to year. Sick days are not interchangeable with vacation days and are not â€œpersonal days.â€? They are intended for use in the event of illness. Associates are to call or e-mail to inform the office of absences due to illness. Parental and Family Leave Associates who become parents by birth, adoption or legal guardianship are entitled to 8 weeks of paid leave to be taken in one continuous block of time. An additional unpaid leave of 4 weeks may also be taken in one continuous block of time. These periods of time are inclusive of any intervening holidays and should start shortly before or after the arrival of the child. Building Evacuation In the event of an emergency requiring the evacuation of the building, all employees are to gather, as soon as possible, at the north west corner of Wabash and Wacker near the statue of Washington, Robert Morris and Hyam Salomon.
Communicating with Clients and Others Effective client communications are critical to our representation of clients. Associates play a key role in maintaining an open channel of communications. However, certain guidelines must be kept in mind whenever communicating with anyone about firm business: Promptness Associates should respond to all client communications as promptly as practical. However, prompt communications shall not interfere with providing legally sound information. Thus, it is appropriate to respond to client inquiries with a statement that research is necessary and substantive information will be forthcoming. Associates are not to provide substantive legal advice to a client without prior approval from a partner. Partner involvement A partner is to be promptly informed of all incoming communications related to firm business. Additionally, unless otherwise instructed, a partner should review all outgoing communications and the name of a partner is to be included in all communications relating to firm business. Documentation All communications relating to client matters are to be included in the matter file. Accordingly, all incoming and outgoing communications including substantive information are to be forwarded (incoming) or blind copied (outgoing) to the relevant administrative assistant. Confidentiality Associates are reminded of their ethical obligations to preserve attorney-client privilege and non-privileged client confidences. Any breach of these obligations may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Governmental communications In almost all of our professional activities, the U.S. government and its agencies are the adverse or potentially adverse parties. Consequently, “informal” or “casual” conversation with government personnel can negatively affect our clients. Thus, communications with government employees about firm business should have the prior approval of the relevant partner. No client specific information may be revealed to any government personnel unless it is in the course of an ongoing matter already involving the government or on the instructions of a partner. When the associate is seeking general information from the government, it is never appropriate to name the relevant client. Prospective clients 3
The partners encourage associates to be involved in organizations and events that bring them into contact with the international trade community. In the course of these activities, associates may receive inquiries regarding possible new business. In these cases, the associate should work with a partner to properly develop that contact.
Timekeeping Accurately recording time spent on projects is a fundamental responsibility of associates. Time records are to be accurate and complete. Unless otherwise specified, time is recorded in quarter-hour increments. Associates working on matters involving travel should record travel as a separate item unless advised otherwise by a partner. Time spent working on other matters while traveling must be recorded for the matter worked, not the matter for which the travel was required. Thus, if while traveling four hours to a meeting for client ABC, the associate does a half hour of work for client XYZ, the proper time entry is 3.5 hours travel for ABC and 0.5 hours of work for XYZ. In other words, we do not engage in double billing the same time. Non-business related time away from the office (e.g., vacations, doctorsâ€™ appointments, personal business) should not be recorded in Juris. Using Timesheets Time is recorded by the individual associates using Juris Timesheet, which has been installed on all computers assigned to associates as their primary work computer. Instructions for using Juris Timesheet will be provided. Batching time All time recorded in a week must be batched no later than noon on the Monday of the next week (or the next day the associate is in the office). At the end of a month, all unbatched time is to be batched the next business day. Consequently, in some weeks, time keepers will be required to batch twice. General Office time It is understood that associates will need to dedicate time to routine non-billable tasks such as keeping current on relevant legal developments. Other expected non-billable time includes relevant bar association activities, business development, and projects assigned by partners. This time should be recorded as follows:
BARNES 101:Business Development BARNES 102: Office Administration BARNES 103: Bar Activities Other relevant BARNES matters may be added. Otherwise, record the time in the appropriate GOO matter number. Partners monitor all time recorded by associates. Excessive non-billable time may be an indication that the associate is under utilized and should be seeking additional work.
Computers and Internet The firm provides computers, peripherals and internet connectivity as a tool to facilitate internal communication, communication with clients, legal research and the completion of work related to the business of the firm. We recognize that associates may make occasional and reasonable personal use of this equipment and service. However, any use that interferes with the business of the firm or our clients or that poses a potential threat to the safety, health, or wellbeing of our employees is not permitted. Specific rules as to computer and internet use follow: ￢
Only software and peripherals provided by the firm may be installed on firm computers. Any exceptions to this should be discussed with the IT manager or the partner in charge of IT.
All data stored on firm computers (including servers, desktops and portable computers) belongs to the firm and is subject to inspection and review. This applies to the content of e-mails, web caches, instant message logs and all other data. Associates should have no expectation of privacy regarding the contents of the computers they use for firm business. Employees may use e-mail for reasonable personal communications. However, the mailing or forwarding of sexist, harassing, pornographic, degrading, racist, threatening or otherwise offensive images, text or other material is strictly prohibited. This applies to mails sent or forwarded internal to the firm as well as external.
No business or commercial activity other than that related to the firm may be conducted using firm equipment, services or facilities.
All e-mail sent relating to firm business is to include the following signature block adjusted as necessary to reflect the senderâ€™s details:
Attorney Name Barnes, Richardson & Colburn Global Trade Law www.barnesrichardson.com [Direct or Main Number] [Fax Number] Please Note: This E-mail message may contain legally privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you should not disseminate, distribute, save, copy or forward this E-mail message. If you have received this E-mail message in error, please notify the sender immediately. Thank you.
Expenses As a general matter, be aware that business expenses are eventually paid by either the client or the firm. As such, associates should be mindful that when they incur expenses, they are spending money that belongs to someone else. Be prudent and reasonable in all your business expenses. When in doubt as to an expense, consult the partner in charge of the project. All expenses not related to a client matter (e.g., bar activities, seminars, sponsorships) should be preapproved by a partner. Firm credit cards Associates receive a firm credit card. The card is to be used only for legitimate business expenses. Charged expenses should be assigned a client and matter number for billing to a client. All receipts for business expenses charged to the credit card are to be presented to the Financial Administrator as soon as possible after the expense is incurred. Unless an emergency is involved, firm business expenses are not to be charged to personal credit cards. Expense reports For expenses not charged to a firm credit card, the associate must complete an expense report (Exhibit 1) and turn it in to the Financial Administrator. To obtain reimbursement for expenses in excess of $25, a receipt must be submitted. Associates should request reimbursement within 20 days after the date of the expense. Expenses should be assigned a client and matter number for billing to a client. 6
Transportation and parking In some cases, work-related transportation and parking are legitimate expenses that may be charged to the firm or a client. Transportation and parking expenses should be assigned a client and matter number for billing to a client. However, expenses associated with travel between the office and home or the office and any non-work-related location are personal commuting expenses not chargeable to the firm or clients. For purposes of personal safety and comfort, associates who work past 9:00 PM may charge to the firm or clients, as appropriate, reasonable expenses related to transportation home. Associates who know they will be working past 9:00 PM may also charge parking in the building to either the firm or clients, as appropriate. When an associate uses his or her personal vehicle for business travel, the associate may be reimbursed for that expense at the currently approved IRS rate for milage. Meals Associates who are engaged in firm business in the office that will reasonably require staying in the office beyond 7:30 PM or who work on weekends may order meals and charge the expense to the relevant client or, if appropriate, to the firm. The amount charged to the firm shall not exceed $25 per associate dinner and $15 per associate lunch both are inclusive of taxes, delivery, and tips. Again, it is expected that associates will not incur unreasonable charges for meals. Petty Cash When an associate incurs a business expense under $15, he or she may complete a petty cash slip and present it to the Financial Administrator for immediate reimbursement. Petty cash expenses should be charged to client matters or the firm as appropriate and noted on the petty cash slip. Bar dues and professional associations The firm will pay dues for membership of the bar in the jurisdictions in which the firm maintains an office and, at the discretion of the partners, other jurisdictions. The firm will also pay the dues associated with membership in up to two relevant professional associations in which the associate maintains an active role. In addition, the firm will pay fees and dues to maintain memberships in or admission to the Customs & International Trade Bar Association, the U.S. Court of International Trade and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. When associates wish to have the firm incur any other expenses related to professional associations (e.g., related to meetings and seminars), they must seek permission from the partner in charge of personnel or the Managing Partner of the office. 7
Files and filing New file memo All new matters are to be the subject of a New File Memo (see Exhibit 2). New File Memos are to be given to the designated administrative assistant as soon as possible after the commencement of the matter. The partner in charge of the matter should be consulted regarding the name of the file. Maintenance of files It is the responsibility of associates working on client matters to maintain the files related to the matter in a complete, accurate and orderly manner. Administrative assistants should participate in that effort as directed by the associates. Copies of all correspondence relevant to the matter must be in the file. This includes copies of electronic mails sent and received relating to the matter. Files should generally be divided into the following categories: ￢ ￢ ￢ ￢
Incoming correspondences Outgoing correspondences Attorney’s notes Research
Litigation files In addition to the general requirements stated above, litigation files should include a subfile consisting of all items presented to the court. Every document in this file should be separated by a numbered tab and listed in a numbered cover sheet similar to the Court docket report. For documents filed electronically, a copy of the document and the electronic filing receipt must be properly placed in the file. Docketing system procedures (“the tickler”) The office maintains a docketing system to ensure that procedural deadlines are not missed. Associates are responsible for properly communicating deadlines to partners and to the administrative staff responsible for the system. All items subject to an externally imposed deadline shall be added to the docketing system. These items include, but are not limited to: 1. 2. 3.
Protests Complaints Discovery requests or responses 8
4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Responses and replies to motions Removal from the Reserve Calendar Removal from a Suspension Disposition Calendar Questionnaire responses Perfection of prior disclosures Notice of Appeal
When docketing a deadline, associates should provide the administrative assistant with the trigger date (e.g., liquidation date), the number of days (e.g., 180 days), and the due date. The administrative assistant will confirm the due date and put the deadline into the system. Reminders will be provided to the associate at least twice prior to the deadline. If, for any reason, the deadline is changed, the associate must inform the administrative assistant.
Model documents Model documents are attached for reference. These documents are to be used as samples for drafting. However, the associate must consult the relevant court and agency rules to assure conformity with requirements. The firms has standard Word and WordPerfect templates for memoranda and fax covers. Letters are to be printed on firm letterhead and, therefore, there is no electronic template. However, letters may be scanned to Portable Document File format (i.e., PDF) and sent via e-mail with the original sent via mail. The attached models are: 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.
Letter (Exhibit 3) Memo (Exhibit 4) Motion and order (Exhibit 5) Complaint (Exhibit 6) Certificate of Service (Exhibit 7)
Office attire For the comfort of all our employees, we have adopted a policy of permitting business casual attire. Associates are expected to use good judgment in selecting appropriate clothing for the office. Clothing should be clean, presentable and professional. In addition, apply these general guidelines: 1. 2. 3.
No jeans, shorts, sweats, or other athletic clothing No t-shirts or sleeveless shirts unless under a sweater or other outer cover No flip flops, running shoes, or other athletic footwear
Unless instructed otherwise, all attorneys are expected to wear business suits for meetings outside the office and for all court appearances. For client meetings, it is appropriate to ask the client whether they have a business casual work place and, if so, to dress accordingly. However, in the case of any doubt and for all initial meetings with clients, a business suit is required. Also, 9
at meetings where government officials will be present, a business suit is required.
Travel Associates may make travel arrangements on their own or through the firmsâ€™ approved travel agency. Contact information for the travel agent may be obtained from the administrative staff. All travel should be accomplished via the least expensive reasonable means given the distance to the location and time of meetings. Associates may retain for personal use airline frequent-flyer miles but frequent-flyer programs are not to be a deciding factor in making business travel arrangements. Associates traveling with others (whether associates, partners, or clients) are instructed to take all necessary steps to get to the destination in a timely manner. Thus, if a traveling colleague is absent at the time of departure, the associate should board the plane and make his or her way to the destination. When traveling with others, it is very valuable to exchange mobile phone numbers to permit communication in these circumstances. Associates traveling outside the country (including to destinations in Canada and Mexico) are responsible for checking the status of their passports, having their passports with them, and arranging for necessary travel documents.
Personnel Records Your personnel file is confidential. If a bank or other organization requests verification of employment, it must provide the firm with a signed authorization to release confidential information. We will supply employment dates, salary, position, and Social Security number. Therefore, so that your personnel records are up-to-date, it is important that we are informed, in writing, of any status changes. Should any of your relevant information(e.g., phone number, mobile number, address, etc.) change, associates are required to provide updated information to the Financial Administrator.
Medical and Life Insurance Coverage The employeeâ€™s contribution is 50% of the premium cost. Associates may waive any part of or all coverage. Associates are eligible for insurance the first day of the month following three months of employment.
Equal Opportunity Hiring The Firm is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and all of its personnel practices and will deal with all employees without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, or non-job related physical disability. The Firm expects each employee to accept personal responsibility for the continuance of this policy. 10
Conflict Resolution and Sexual Harassment Policy Conflicts between and among employees are to be avoided through mutual respect, polite disagreement, and open discussion. However, when a conflict arises that cannot be resolved between the persons involved, the matter should be brought to the attention of the partner in charge of personnel or the managing partner of the office. Job related sexual harassment constitutes discrimination on the basis of sex and violates both federal and state laws. It is the policy of the Firm that it will not tolerate job related sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as covering the following activity: 1. Unwelcome sexual advances; 2. Unwelcome requests for sexual favors; 3. Unwelcome verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature; and 4. Making submission to sexual favor or favors the basis for an employment decision such as a wage increase or promotion. Any employee who believes that he or she has been sexually harassed by a fellow employee or supervisor should promptly report the incident(s). A report may be made to the Financial Administrator or Managing Partner of the office. Any employee or supervisor of the Firm who is found to be engaging in sexual harassment may face disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Retirement Plan To participate in the 401(k) plan, you must work at least 1000 hours during a one-year period. The amount you may defer varies over time as set by federal law. The Firm will make matching contributions to the plan to all participants who have Elective Deferral Contributions. This contribution will be equal to 100% of your elective deferral but shall not be made in excess of 4% of the participantâ€™s compensation. The vesting schedule of the matching contributions is as follows: Covered Years of Service
Percentage of Account Vested
Less than 1 1 but less than 2 2 but less than 3 3 but less than 4 4 but less than 5
0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 11
5 but less than 6 6 or more
Last updated: July 1, 2008. Exhibits: 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
Expense report New file memo Letter Memo Motion and order Complaint