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Still Standing

Last year, as part of our wedding ceremony, my husband and I planted a weeping cherry "Snow Fountain" tree in our backyard--a symbolic gesture of starting a new life together.

It was a skinny, spiny tree about seven feet tall that we purchased at our local hardware store. Throughout late summer and early fall, he and I would often walk outside and admire our lanky little tree. We fantasized about what it might look like a few years down the road. We agreed it would grow so big and robust that it just might destroy the fence next to which we planted it. We had high hopes for this tree!

Then in late fall and early winter, our conversations about the tree began to change. After first watching it get battered by the whirling Chicago winds, we thought it might just take more than a few years for this tree to become the Hercules of Marengo Avenue.

Then after helplessly witnessing its tiny, weak branches become completely encased by a thick layer of ice, pathetically drooping toward the snow-covered
ground, we just hoped it would make it through the unforgiving season.
As soon as the weather broke, we began regularly checking on the tree. Every morning, before we left for work, we inspected its branches for any hint at its fate.

Finally, in mid-April, we saw white buds slowly begin to reveal themselves through the branches, and before we knew it the tree was living up to its "Snow Fountain" name. It had survived.

The tree started out as a symbol of the new life my husband and I were starting, but it has now taken on an even greater meaning to me: Survival is all about staying strong.

In this month's cover story "Under Scrutiny," InsideCounsel takes a microscope to the recent rash of GC indictments. The story delves into why so many in-house counsel are finding themselves at the center of misconduct investigations, taps into the investigative minds of officials at the SEC and DOJ and profiles two general counsel who have made it through the
challenges of being targeted by federal prosecutors.

With the number of in-house counsel indictments reaching record highs, even the smartest GCs can fall victim to an unexpected investigation. But it's the strong leaders who will arm themselves with the knowledge they need and weather the stormy season.


Cathleen Flahardy

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