Legal Ethics

  • April 05, 2024

    Calif. Judge Faces Two New Ethics Charges

    A California state judge facing a plethora of ethics charges is now facing additional allegations related to his participation in an online debate and comments he made during a court hearing.

  • April 05, 2024

    Attys Ask 2nd Circ. To Affirm Ruling In Psychiatry Prof's Death

    Attorneys cleared of any wrongdoing in New York federal court in the death of renowned psychiatry professor Judith Brook in their capacity as court-appointed temporary guardians urged the Second Circuit this week to affirm a lower court's holding that temporary guardians are not state actors subject to federal jurisdiction.

  • April 05, 2024

    Judge Wary Of Foley & Lardner Exit Bid From SEC Suit

    A request by Foley & Lardner LLP attorneys to stop representing a Malta-based registered investment adviser in a $75 million suit by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is hanging in the balance after a North Carolina federal judge expressed concerns about their exit holding up the case.

  • April 05, 2024

    Texas Justices Reverse Course In Atty Sex Tape Dispute

    The state's high court on Friday backpedaled on an earlier decision declining to intervene in a dispute between a woman and a Houston attorney she is suing over a video she says may contain child sexual abuse, agreeing to rehear her bid for relief from a court order governing the video.

  • April 05, 2024

    Reger Rizzo Hit With Race, Gender Bias Suit By Ex-Employee

    Reger Rizzo & Darnall LLP has been sued in Pennsylvania federal court by a former firm legal assistant alleging racial and sex discrimination, and claiming that a hostile, harassing and retaliatory work environment caused her to leave her job.

  • April 05, 2024

    NC High Court Snapshot: Law Firm Battles Defamation Suit

    The Supreme Court of North Carolina has a stacked calendar heading into spring arguments, from an appeal over Black-owned properties targeted for demolition to a law firm's attempt at dodging defamation claims over allegations of voter fraud.

  • April 05, 2024

    Beck Redden Beats Disbarred Atty's Texas Malpractice Suit

    A Texas federal judge granted Beck Redden LLP's request to end a malpractice suit against it from a disbarred attorney and former firm client who alleged the firm waived his right to a jury trial.

  • April 05, 2024

    Judge Won't Recuse Herself From Doctor's NBA Fraud Trial

    A Manhattan federal judge has refused to step away from the case of a Seattle doctor accused of participating in a scheme to defraud the National Basketball Association's health plan, saying there was "no basis" for his bid to oust her after he took issue with the trial schedule and what he described as systemic barriers.

  • April 05, 2024

    Wisconsin Bar Tweaks Diversity Definition Amid Bias Suit

    The State Bar of Wisconsin has erased a legal challenge related to its diversity clerkship program following a revision of its definition of diversity, though the federal case will continue over dues collections.

  • April 05, 2024

    Chinese Insurer Awarded Nearly $15M Over Hotel Theft Suit

    A California federal judge awarded a Chinese insurer nearly $15 million in damages after a man accused of conspiring to fraudulently claim ownership of New York City's JW Marriott Essex House Hotel and other luxury properties failed to appear in the action.

  • April 04, 2024

    9th Circ. Unconvinced Judge's Past Job Hurt Tesla Investor

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday refused to revive claims brought by a short-seller accusing Tesla Inc. and CEO Elon Musk of using social media to artificially inflate the company's stock, ruling that the plaintiff wasn't prejudiced by a district judge's former employment with the predecessor of a firm that represented Tesla for a portion of the litigation.

  • April 04, 2024

    Young Thug Can't DQ Prosecutor Over Questions To Witness

    An Atlanta judge on Thursday denied a motion to disqualify the lead prosecutor in the racketeering trial against rapper Young Thug and five others after weighing claims that she had made herself a witness, according to defense counsel.

  • April 04, 2024

    Caterpillar 'Talking Out Both Sides,' Judge Says

    A Delaware federal judge chastised Caterpillar Inc. ahead of trial in a series of orders mostly siding with claims from a defunct construction equipment supplier accusing the company of pressuring an online auctioneer to break an important contract with the would-be competitor.

  • April 04, 2024

    Depo Conflicts Mean Pretrial Win In Malpractice Suit, Attys Say

    A Texas state court judge on Thursday said he needed to more closely review the prior deposition of a man who claimed his Houston-area property was flooded by Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda before deciding whether to grant a pretrial win to a law firm the man accused of botching his damage claim.

  • April 04, 2024

    John Eastman Says Inactive Status Hampers Livelihood

    Former Donald Trump attorney John Eastman asked the State Bar Court of California on Wednesday to delay placing him on inactive enrollment while he appeals the recommendation for his disbarment, saying he can't sustain the loss of his livelihood representing clients like Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene.

  • April 04, 2024

    NC Tax Fraud Trial Evidence Bids Get Lukewarm Reception

    A North Carolina federal judge on Thursday seemed reluctant to limit certain evidence against two attorneys and an insurance agent in their upcoming tax fraud trial, saying some of it seemed pertinent to the government's quest to prove intent but suspected other information might be construed by jurors as "petty."

  • April 04, 2024

    Ex-NY Court Atty Found Guilty Of Official Misconduct

    A New York state jury on Thursday found a former appeals court attorney guilty of official misconduct for using her position to provide a legal opinion that helped her husband and his law firm secure a $55,000 payment from a new client.

  • April 04, 2024

    GRSM50 Accused Of Letting Detroit Hotel Hide Evidence

    Former workers at an upscale Detroit hotel suing over their firings urged a Michigan federal judge on Wednesday to sanction the club and disqualify its attorneys at Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP, alleging it is likely they helped withhold documents and try to intimidate witnesses.

  • April 04, 2024

    Judge Recuses Herself From Cartel Case Over Exxon Stock

    A Nevada federal judge has recused herself from a batch of antitrust lawsuits claiming U.S. shale oil producers colluded with OPEC to drive up prices at the pump, citing her ownership of a "significant" amount of Exxon Mobil Corp. stock.

  • April 04, 2024

    Ga. Says Listening to Atty-Client Calls Not Unconstitutional

    The state of Georgia has told the state's Supreme Court that prosecutors didn't trample on the Sixth Amendment rights of a man convicted of assault, because they didn't intentionally seek to listen to privileged phone calls between the man and his lawyer and because the phone calls weren't evidence at trial.

  • April 04, 2024

    Judge Won't Pause Dismissal Of $114M Discord Stock Case

    A Houston judge has denied a bid from federal prosecutors to pause the dismissal of an indictment that accused eight men of running a $114 million pump-and-dump stock scheme, writing that the government's argument for a stay largely rehashes the merits of dismissing the case and "is not particularly persuasive."

  • April 04, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty's Defamation Injunction Bid Meets Skepticism

    The Florida federal judge overseeing a $150 million defamation case between an ex-Greenberg Traurig LLP partner and a social media personality accused of mounting a harassment campaign against him declined, for now, to issue an injunction against alleged cyberstalking and indicated the petition may be better suited for state court.

  • April 04, 2024

    W.Va. Plaintiff Drops Telemarketing Claim Against Fla. Firm

    A West Virginia woman who alleged in a putative class action that law firms had bombarded her and others with unwanted legal advertising phone calls has announced a joint dismissal with one of the firms involved.

  • April 04, 2024

    Ex-Manager Wants Sills Cummis Atty Depo In Musician Row

    The former manager for Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Nile Rodgers asked a New Jersey state court Thursday to depose a Sills Cummis & Gross PC attorney in a suit accusing the firm of overbilling him in a contract dispute against the musician.

  • April 04, 2024

    Ghostwriting Undercut Bar Conflict Safeguards, Report Says

    The State Bar of California's former deputy executive director "violated the spirit and undermined the purpose of the Rule 2201 Program," according to a report the state bar commissioned investigating the former director's "ghostwriting" of reports connected to attorney discipline cases where conflicts arise, including one concerning embattled ex-attorney Tom Girardi.

Expert Analysis

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Reminds Attys That CBP Can Search Devices

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent Malik v. Department of Homeland Security decision adds to the chorus of federal courts holding that border agents don’t need a warrant to search travelers’ electronic devices, so attorneys should consider certain special precautions to secure privileged information when reentering the U.S., says Jennifer Freel at Jackson Walker.

  • Alleged $636M Deal Error Shows Value Of Old-School Methods

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    Though Proskauer Rose has now settled claims involving a copy-paste error in deal documents that could have resulted in $636 million in damages, the debacle reminds attorneys that classic revision methods using paper copies can help avoid drafting errors and actually save time in the long run, says Richard Leisner at Trenam.

  • Twitter Sanction Highlights Privacy Law's Complexity

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    The D.C. Circuit's recent decision to uphold a sanction against X Corp., formerly known as Twitter, for failing to produce account records in response to a subpoena highlights the importance of understanding the Stored Communications Act, particularly when deciding to produce or not produce data, says Cary Aronovitz at Holland & Knight.

  • Avoiding The Ethical Pitfalls Of Crowdfunded Legal Fees

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    The crowdfunding of legal fees has become increasingly common, providing a new way for people to afford legal services, but attorneys who accept crowdsourced funds must remember several key ethical obligations to mitigate their risks, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Julienne Pasichow at HWG.

  • What Large Language Models Mean For Document Review

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    Courts often subject parties using technology assisted review to greater scrutiny than parties conducting linear, manual document review, so parties using large language models for document review should expect even more attention, along with a corresponding need for quality control and validation, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • Series

    Participating In Living History Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My role as a baron in a living history group, and my work as volunteer corporate counsel for a book series fan association, has provided me several opportunities to practice in unexpected areas of law — opening doors to experiences that have nurtured invaluable personal and professional skills, says Matthew Parker at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Opinion

    Private Equity Owners Can Remedy Law Firms' Agency Issues

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    Nonlawyer, private-equity ownership of law firms can benefit shareholders and others vulnerable to governance issues such as disparate interests, and can in turn help resolve agency problems, says Michael Di Gennaro at The Law Practice Exchange.

  • How To Protect Atty-Client Privilege While Using Generative AI

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    When using generative artificial intelligence tools, attorneys should consider several safeguards to avoid breaches or complications in attorney-client privilege, say Antonious Sadek and Christopher Campbell at DLA Piper.

  • How New Lawyers Can Leverage Feedback For Growth

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    Embracing constructive criticism as a tool for success can help new lawyers accelerate their professional growth and law firms build a culture of continuous improvement, says Katie Aldrich at Fringe Professional Development.

  • Twitter Legal Fees Suit Offers Crash Course In Billing Ethics

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    X Corp.'s suit alleging that Wachtell grossly inflated its fees in the final days of Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition provides a case study in how firms should protect their reputations by hewing to ethical billing practices and the high standards for professional conduct that govern attorney-client relationships, says Lourdes Fuentes at Karta Legal.

  • ABA's Money-Laundering Resolution Is A Balancing Act

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    While the American Bar Association’s recently passed resolution recognizes a lawyer's duty to discontinue representation that could facilitate money laundering and other fraudulent activity, it preserves, at least for now, the delicate balance of judicial, state-based regulation of the legal profession and the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship, say attorneys at Ballard Spahr.

  • Law Firm Professional Development Steps To Thrive In AI Era

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    As generative artificial intelligence tools rapidly evolve, professional development leaders are instrumental in preparing law firms for the paradigm shifts ahead, and should consider three strategies to help empower legal talent with the skills required to succeed in an increasingly complex technological landscape, say Steve Gluckman and Anusia Gillespie at SkillBurst Interactive.

  • Nev. Insurance Law May Mean Turmoil In Liability Market

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    Nevada's new law prohibiting insurers from issuing or renewing defense-within-limits liability policies in the state could cause professional liability insurers to withdraw certain products or prohibitively increase premiums — and while an emergency regulation allows for exceptions, the situation remains fluid, says Joshua Leach at Atheria Law.

  • Lessons From High-Profile Witness Tampering Allegations

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    As demonstrated by recent developments in the cases against former President Donald Trump and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, allegations of witness tampering can carry serious consequences — but attorneys can employ certain strategies to mitigate the risk that accusations arise, says Kenneth Notter at MoloLamken.

  • Covington Ruling Strengthens SEC's Enforcement Powers

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    A Washington, D.C., federal court’s recent order that Covington & Burling provide the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with the identities of its clients in response to a subpoena reinforces the agency’s broad authority to investigate cybersecurity violations, and suggests law firms must take steps to strengthen data privacy, say Elisha Kobre and Ryan Dean at Bradley Arant.

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