Dennis Garcia

assistant general counsel

Dennis Garcia
Meet Dennis
Dennis C. Garcia is an Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft based in Chicago. He leads the legal support function to Microsoft’s U.S. Central Region Enterprise & Partner Group – a team of sales, devices and services professionals based in an 18 state region. In that role Dennis shapes and negotiates cloud computing, on premise, devices and consulting services agreements with Microsoft’s largest customers. He also advises on general corporate legal matters. Prior to joining Microsoft, Dennis served as in-house counsel for Accenture and IBM.

Head in the clouds?

Even though US cities and states continue to face increasing economic hardship, they need to be thoughtful and practical before enacting measures that serve to tax growing and emerging technologies like cloud computing. In this recent article in Chicago Lawyer magazine, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel Dennis Garcia provides an overview of the City of Chicago’s recent “Cloud Tax” and its potential impact:

Head in the clouds?

Another new frontier for attorneys — The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a growing phenomenon in the IT industry. It is becoming increasingly important for all organizations, not just tech, to get ready for IoT and all things that come with it. This month, I had the opportunity to explore the potential legal issues associated with the IoT in Chicago Lawyer Magazine.

Check out my full article here:

Another new frontier for attorneys — The Internet of Things

American Bar Association (ABA) TechShow Highlights Microsoft Legal Technology

Last month I had the privilege to attend the annual American Bar Association (ABA) TechShow at the Chicago Hilton Hotel and help evangelize Microsoft cloud solutions and devices to lawyers and legal professionals. During this past year Microsoft also had a significant presence at events coordinated by other leading legal technology organizations such as the International Legal Technology Association and LegalTech.

This year Microsoft increased its sponsorship for the ABA TechShow and we were Diamond Sponsors. Being a Diamond Sponsor enabled us to have a large booth to showcase our solutions, to have a team of Microsoft attendees and a Vendor Track Session. Our Vendor Track Session was entitled “Building Trust in the Cloud: Navigate the Journey to Cloud-Based Services.” My colleagues Nathan Leong and Larry Kuhn co-presented during this session and showcased Microsoft’s “trusted cloud” story – which is based on these four key pillars: Transparency, Protect, Comply and Control – to a highly interested group of lawyers and legal professionals. Nathan and Larry also highlighted that Microsoft is the first and only major cloud provider to achieve ISO 27018 compliance (ISO 27018 is the first international cloud privacy standard) for its cloud solutions, that we have a dedicated digital crimes unit that fights cybercriminals and we incorporate our learnings from those activities to make our cloud solutions even more robust and secure.

Here’s a few more observations from the ABA TechShow:

  • It seems like Microsoft Office 365, OneNote, OneDrive for Business, Yammer, Surface Pro 3 and our Office Lens App are really gaining traction and interest in the legal community.
  • Given the increase in high-profile data loss incidents, more than ever before security/privacy/compliance are “top of mind” issues.
  • At our booth we provided a demo of our Matter Center solution that is targeted to the legal community. We are currently exploring ways to bring Matter Center to partners and customers.
  • It’s clear that the legal community is increasingly realizing the benefits of technology. In fact, many of the lawyers we met really appreciated the opportunity to speak directly to a Microsoft lawyer to learn how we use Microsoft solutions within our own legal department to make us more productive, collaborative and agile.

Microsoft looks forward to the opportunity to participate in next year’s ABA Legal Tech Show which will be held again in the Windy City during March 17th-19th, 2016.

A Look Ahead: Security in the Cloud

Last month I participated in a Microsoft Live Virtual Event at Microsoft’s Production Studios in Redmond, Washington called “A Look Ahead: Security in the Cloud” where I was asked various questions that are top of mind for customers as they consider acquiring cloud solutions. Here’s a link to that event where you can view my session and the sessions of other participants:

One of the primary questions that I addressed during my session is how a customer can identify a “trusted” cloud provider – which is of critical importance as customers entrust cloud providers to properly secure their data.

The key point is that customers need to engage in thoughtful due diligence when selecting a cloud provider. However a customer first needs to identify its team of professionals within its organization that will conduct such due diligence. That team may include an in-house lawyer, a representative from the chief privacy officer team, a representative from the chief security officer team, and a member of the risk management/compliance team. Once those folks are engaged, a customer can begin its cloud provider evaluation process and should focus its evaluation on these four considerations:

  1. How transparent is the cloud provider?
  2. How does the cloud provider protect data?
  3. How does the cloud provider embrace compliance?
  4. Does the cloud provider enable a customer to control its data?

Best of luck in your journey to the cloud!

Thank You to the ILAO Board!

Dennis GarciaAs part of my role as Assistant General Counsel for Microsoft, I provide lead legal support to Microsoft’s U.S. Central Region Enterprise & Partner Group – a team of sales, devices and services professionals located in 18 states and 5 Microsoft districts. With my team, I help shape and establish a wide range of agreements with customers and partners, including cloud computing agreements, and I provide advice on general corporate legal matters. I am also blessed to step outside of my duties with Microsoft and use technology to help the greater community at large, combining law and technology to do what I do best.

I feel honored to have been recently elected to the Board of Directors of Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO). The mission of ILAO is to increase access to justice for lower-income and vulnerable Illinois residents through the innovative use of technology to assist and educate the public and to train and support legal aid providers and pro bono attorneys. I’m really excited to serve as a ILAO Board Member and to help improve access to justice through technology.

Helping Chicago lawyers get more done

Doing more with less resources is a top of mind issue nowadays for every organization. In an article from earlier this month in Chicago Lawyer magazine, I provide some strategies for lawyers to get more done even when they are resource constrained. Leveraging leading technology – especially Microsoft’s Office 365 cloud solution – helps enable all organizations to be more productive, collaborative and agile. For more, please read the full article here:

Turning nothing into something: Learning how to keep everyone happy with fewer resources

Moving into the digital age: LEADS Act looks to ensure privacy while keeping us safe

A few weeks ago, Congress re-introduced legislation named the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act (LEADS Act). In an article from earlier this month in Chicago Lawyer magazine, I provided an overview of the LEADS Act and its importance in a mobile first, cloud first world. It’s important that Congress and the President display LEADership by enacting the LEADS Act into law. For more, please read the full article here: Moving into the digital age: LEADS Act looks to ensure privacy while keeping us safe

In addition, Microsoft General Counsel & Executive Vice President Brad Smith also put together a post about the LEADS Act. Read this blog here.

ISO Sets Global Privacy Standard For Cloud

Security, privacy and compliance are core tenets for Microsoft’s cloud services. Last July the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued the first international standard regarding the processing of personal information by cloud providers known as ISO 27018. Microsoft Azure services have incorporated the controls that embody ISO 27018, building on the existing ISO 27001 standard with a code of practice and new controls for governing the processing of personal information by cloud providers. Microsoft is the first major cloud provider to have incorporated the ISO 27018 code of practice. In this article that recently appeared in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel Dennis Garcia provides an overview of ISO 27018.

ISO Sets Global Privacy Standard For Cloud


Data breaches signal need to take proactive steps to tighten security

A commitment to cybersecurity is one of the key pillars defining the trustworthiness of Microsoft’s cloud platform and services. Of the major cloud service providers, Microsoft is the only one that has a dedicated Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) – a team of lawyers, investigators and data analysts who use expertise in law, cyberforensics, and data analytics to partner with public and private organizations to help protect the world from digital harm. Microsoft incorporates the cybersecurity insights and data from DCU operations into its cloud computing solutions to create a more secure digital environment for customers and the public.

In this article that appeared earlier this month in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Microsoft Assistant General Counsel Dennis Garcia addresses why organizations need to focus upon cybersecurity. He also includes some practical advice organizations and individuals can follow to enhance cybersecurity.

Data breaches signal need to take proactive steps to tighten security