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    Compliance Top of Mind at RILA’s Retail Law Conference

    Activities included expert panels, breakouts, roundtable discussions

    The second day of the Retail Law Conference, held in Dallas by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and the Retail Litigation Center (RLC), featured sessions on global sourcing and compliance.

    Edward J. Fuhr, partner at Richmond, Va.-based Hunton & Williams LLP, discussed the importance of compliance in the retail community, especially in international operations, since retailers that wish to expand their supply chains and store operations into other countries face a bewildering variety of cultures and legal systems. Also, Kelly Barrett, VP, internal audit and corporate compliance for The Home Depot Inc., based in Atlanta, and Wilma Wallace, VP, deputy general counsel for San Francisco-based Gap Inc., provided insight on their respective companies’ programs to integrate compliance throughout each enterprise, and to identify and mitigate risks.

    “Retailers are committed to compliance across the enterprise, but are nonetheless challenged to keep up with both international and U.S. law and to implement systems and processes based on these laws,” noted Deborah White, EVP and general counsel for Arlington, Va.-based RILA, as well as president of the RLC. “Providing forums for discussion and access to expert panels on these topics help companies ensure that they are keeping up with the latest trends and business best practices.”

    Additional breakouts were devoted to EEOC class action litigation, audits and procedures for compliance with U.S. sentencing guidelines, patent litigation, privacy of consumer online data, class action trends in California, and advice for retailers expanding to Canada. Further, roundtable discussions enabled retailers to interact such issues as current risks in social media, information technology security, and the role of legal departments in enterprise risk management.

    Finally, Mike Murphy, political strategist and political analyst for NBC News and contributing editor for Time, wrapped things up with a humorous presentation on Election Day 2012, including an insider’s take on the outlook for both Democrats and Republicans in the near future.

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