Editor, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel
General Counsel (Ret.),
J.C. Penney Co.
Al served for 26 years as corporate counsel at JC Penney, including ten years as general counsel. When at JC Penney, Al worked with lawyers at GE and GM and the law firms with which they partnered to pass sophisticated consumer legislation at a federal level that would fully protect consumers while heading off the more radical approaches advocated by Ralph Nader. He partnered with outside counsel to set up a state legislative network enabling JC Penney to track consumer and credit legislation. He joined with supportive law firms, as the representative of the ABA Committee on Corporate General Counsel, in successful negotiations with the drafters of the Model Rules of Professional Ethics to preserve the applicability of the attorney-client privilege to communications from corporate clients in its up-the-ladder reporting provisions. He worked with the Business Roundtable to educate corporate counsel and their law firm partners about the efforts of some of the reporters for the American Law Institute’s Corporate Governance Project to limit the ability of independent directors to dismiss unmeritorious derivative litigation.
Al and his wife, Martha, founded The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel in 1993, which is made possible through the support of law firms and legal service providers who view that support as another way to partner with corporate counsel. Among its most important missions is to help corporate counsel achieve their objectives with respect to civil justice reform by providing them with information about the value of organizations like the Atlantic Legal Foundation. It now targets all lawyers in more than 4,000 legal departments nationwide, including the law departments of the Fortune 1000.