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ALM's Corporate Counsel Names "Best Legal Departments" Winners: Acorda Therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Caesars, California

ALM's Corporate Counsel Names "Best Legal Departments" Winners: Acorda
Therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Caesars, California State University

NEW YORK, May 15, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ALM's Corporate Counsel today
announced the winners of its 2013 Best Legal Departments competition: Acorda
Therapeutics Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb, Caesars Entertainment Corporation and
California State University.

Mirroring the diversity of the nation's law departments, Corporate Counsel,
the leading publication for general counsel and in-house attorneys, has chosen
to honor two outstanding small companies, one large corporation, and, for the
first time, a public institution. "One trait that all these departments share
is that the individual lawyers are passionate about the work they do," wrote
Editor in Chief Anthony Paonita. "And I mean that frequently misused word
literally. Some of the university's lawyers and staff are alumni. Some of the
pharma folks have personal ties to friends and family who need their products.
They're all committed to a mission that motivates them to do their jobs in
thoughtful, innovative ways."

The winning departments, profiled in depth in Corporate Counsel's June issue
and online at, are:

  * Acorda Therapeutics. With just eight lawyers fueled by perseverance and
    commitment, the department led by general counsel Jane Wasman stays
    intimately involved with the mission of developing therapies to combat
    central nervous system disorders. One-on-one ties between lawyers and
    business groups has helped minimize lawsuits. Some of its lawyers came
    from major pharmaceutical players; others never worked at a large company.
    Last year they pulled off a complex office relocation while handling the
    14-year-old firm's first corporate acquisition.
  * Bristol-Myers Squibb. Its 114 in-house lawyers needed their usual
    camaraderie and hard work more than ever last year as BMS raced to launch
    new products in the face of patent expirations on some top sellers. The
    department, which works particularly closely with the R&D unit, increased
    patent applications by 75 percent. Meanwhile, they fielded a steady stream
    of patent lawsuits, along with product liability litigation and government
    investigations. The team shows remarkable cooperation based on dedication
    to the larger health-care mission.
  * Caesars Entertainment. Handling everything from the gaming industry's most
    complex merger to lawsuits from disgruntled casino losers, along with
    worldwide regulatory scrutiny and 75 collective bargaining agreements,
    Caesars' 21-lawyer department has delivered top-quality work despite
    cost-cutting necessitated by a down economy and a challenging array of
    expansion plans. General counsel Timothy Donovan's business background has
  * California State University. The world's largest four-year university
    system, CSU and its lawyers oversee 23 campuses and nearly 440,000
    students, while grappling with recent billion-dollar budget cuts. Just
    retired general counsel Christine Helwick's comprehensive litigation
    prevention program brought annual caseloads down 70 percent to 66 last
    year, none of which was lost. The department includes alumni who
    appreciate the affordable education mission.

About ALM

ALM is a global leader in specialized business news and information. Trusted
reporting delivered through innovative technology is the hallmark of ALM's
award-winning media properties, which include (, The
American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel, The National Law Journal and The New York
Law Journal. Headquartered in New York City with 16 offices worldwide, ALM
brands have been serving their markets since 1843. For more information, visit

ALM, The American Lawyer, Corporate Counsel,, Insight Conferences,, Law Journal Press, Law Technology News, LegalTech, The National Law
Journal and Real Estate Forum are trademarks or registered trademarks of ALM
Media Properties, LLC.

CONTACT: Media Contact:
         Fred Rackmil
         Rackmil Associates
         212.412.0044 or

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