8 GCs at Big Corporations Not Licensed

General counsels at eight Fortune 250 companies don’t have the special law license required by their states for in-house lawyers who haven’t passed the local bar exam, according to an investigation by Corporate Counsel magazine.

They are: Vernon Baker II of ArvinMeritor Inc.; Michael DeBacker of Dana Corp.; Robert Sloan of Entergy Corp.; Siri Marshall of General Mills Inc.; Arthur Hipwell of Humana Inc.; Terrance Carlson of Medtronic Inc.; Todd DuChene of Solectron Corp.; and John Donofrio of Visteon Corp.

Hipwell has no law license at all, the magazine reports. He joined Louisville-based Humana in 1979, and let his Kentucky law license completely lapse in 1985. He says he did so because he was acting as a Humana executive, not as a lawyer. “I haven’t been doing anything intentionally wrong,” says Hipwell, who became Humana’s GC in 1992. He is trying to determine what he needs to do to “rectify his licensing problem,” the magazine says.

The other general counsels are licensed in states where they used to work, but don’t have the license their current states require for in-house lawyers who haven’t taken the local bar exam, the magazine says. DuChene declined to confirm or deny his status; the rest say they are now obtaining proper credentials.

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