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

  • Attorneys' Busiest Times Can Be Business Opportunities

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    Attorneys who resolve to grow their revenue and client base in 2024 should be careful not to abandon their goals when they get too busy with client work, because these periods of zero bandwidth can actually be a catalyst for future growth, says Amy Drysdale at Alchemy Consulting.

  • In The World Of Legal Ethics, 10 Trends To Note From 2023

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    Lucian Pera at Adams and Reese and Trisha Rich at Holland & Knight identify the top legal ethics trends from 2023 — including issues related to hot documents, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — that lawyers should be aware of to put their best foot forward.

  • Opinion

    Animal Rights Are About Saving Nature, And Our Own Future

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    The climate crisis makes it clear that animal law — conceived of as an ecocentric approach to protecting the most vulnerable nonhumans who depend on the natural environment — is essential to restoring the Earth and safeguarding the future of humanity, says Carter Dillard at the Fair Start Movement.

  • The Ethics Of Accepting Advanced Legal Fees In Crypto

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    State and local bar associations have been weighing in on whether attorneys may accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment in advance of providing legal services, but the answer is frequently a fact-specific inquiry that demands close reading of the rules of professional conduct, say Matthew Feinberg and Jeffrey Cunningham at Goldberg Segalla.

  • How Attorneys Can Be More Efficient This Holiday Season

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    Attorneys should consider a few key tips to speed up their work during the holidays so they can join the festivities — from streamlining the document review process to creating similar folder structures, says Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben.

  • 5 Gifts That May Run Afoul Of Government Ethics Rules

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    As the holiday season ramps up, it’s essential to keep in mind that government officials and employees are all subject to specific gift rules, and related violations can lead to consequences far worse than coal in one’s stocking, say Mark Renaud and Rob Walker at Wiley.

  • 3 Defense Takeaways From The Bankman-Fried Trial

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    FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent fraud conviction offers several key lessons for future white collar defendants, from the changing nature of cross-examination to the continued risks of taking the stand, say Jonathan Porter and Gregg Sofer at Husch Blackwell.

  • Series

    Children's Book Writing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Becoming a children's book author has opened doors to incredible new experiences of which I barely dared to dream, but the process has also changed my life by serving as a reminder that strong writing, networking and public speaking skills are hugely beneficial to a legal career, says Shaunna Bailey at Sheppard Mullin.

  • How Clients May Use AI To Monitor Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Artificial intelligence tools will increasingly enable clients to monitor and evaluate their counsel’s activities, so attorneys must clearly define the terms of engagement and likewise take advantage of the efficiencies offered by AI, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge D'Emic On Moby Grape

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    The 1968 Moby Grape song "Murder in My Heart for the Judge" tells the tale of a fictional defendant treated with scorn by the judge, illustrating how much the legal system has evolved in the past 50 years, largely due to problem-solving courts and the principles of procedural justice, says Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Matthew D'Emic.

  • The Basics Of Law Firm Cyber Liability Insurance Applications

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    Cyber liability insurance has become a common consideration for law firms as cyber threats have escalated, but these insurance forms can be quite complicated given the nature of the industry and associated risks, so simply filling out the form won't necessarily result in an ideal policy for your firm, says Kevin Haight at WAMS.

  • Series

    Performing Music Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    The discipline of performing live music has directly and positively influenced my effectiveness as a litigator — serving as a reminder that practice, intuition and team building are all important elements of a successful law practice, says Jeff Wakolbinger at Bryan Cave.

  • Breaking Down High Court's New Code Of Conduct

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    The U.S. Supreme Court recently adopted its first-ever code of conduct, and counsel will need to work closely with clients in navigating its provisions, from gift-giving to recusal bids, say Phillip Gordon and Mateo Forero at Holtzman Vogel.

  • Opinion

    Legal Profession Gender Parity Requires Equal Parental Leave

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    To truly foster equity in the legal profession and to promote attorney retention, workplaces need to better support all parents, regardless of gender — starting by offering equal and robust parental leave to both birthing and non-birthing parents, says Ali Spindler at Irwin Fritchie.

  • Series

    Writing Thriller Novels Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Authoring several thriller novels has enriched my work by providing a fresh perspective on my privacy practice, expanding my knowledge, and keeping me alert to the next wave of issues in an increasingly complex space — a reminder to all lawyers that extracurricular activities can help sharpen professional instincts, says Reece Hirsch at Morgan Lewis.

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