Legal Ethics

  • February 22, 2024

    IP Forecast: Samsung Eyes Ex-Attys' Litigation Funder Chats

    Samsung plans to ask a Texas court to force a patent litigation business to disclose communications with litigation funders ahead of a trial next month over whether the tech giant's former in-house counsel stole trade secrets. Here's a look at that case — plus all the other major intellectual property matters on deck in the coming week.

  • February 22, 2024

    OpenSky Tells Vidal VLSI Fees Relied On 'Fabricated' Exhibit

    OpenSky Industries LLC has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director to reconsider making it pay $413,000 in attorney fees to VLSI Technology, arguing in a newly unsealed filing that she failed to justify the award and allowed records "fabricated" by VLSI. 

  • February 22, 2024

    US Can't Appeal Order To Give Avenatti's Tax Info To Trustee

    A California federal judge declined Wednesday to allow the U.S. to appeal a bankruptcy court's decision ordering Michael Avenatti's tax returns to be released to the trustee overseeing the estate of Eagan Avenatti LLP's bankruptcy, finding the decision to be unappealable, and Avenatti himself hasn't objected to the disclosure.

  • February 22, 2024

    Law Firm Sued For Using Photo Of Disgraced OB-GYN Online

    A professional photographer has accused Dallas-based The Schmidt Firm PLLC of copyright infringement over an image of convicted sexual abuser and former Columbia University obstetrician-gynecologist Robert Hadden, saying in Texas federal court that the firm used the image on its website without permission.

  • February 22, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Protect AbbVie's Atty-Client Communications

    The Third Circuit has denied AbbVie Inc.'s bid to block a Pennsylvania federal court's order to turn over attorney communications from a patent case allegedly cooked up just to extend the company's monopoly on a testosterone drug, but the appellate court's explanation remained under seal Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Wolverine Wants Judgment, Sanctions In PFAS Coverage Row

    Footwear company Wolverine asked a Michigan federal court Thursday to grant it a win and impose additional sanctions against its insurer for continued "flagrant disregard and willful disobedience of discovery orders" in a dispute over coverage of PFAS chemical injury suits that may set the tone for similar litigation.

  • February 22, 2024

    DraftKings Says Ex-Exec's $310K Attys Fees Bid Is Excessive

    DraftKings has told a California federal court that the "whopping" $310,000 in attorney fees requested by a former executive after the company shuffled the case back and forth between state and federal court is an unreasonable fee no "reasonable client" would pay.

  • February 22, 2024

    Disbarred Pa. Attorney Faces Forgery, Tampering Charges

    A disbarred Pennsylvania attorney now faces criminal charges for allegedly presenting fake court documents to clients with forged signatures of judges while pretending to litigate dismissed lawsuits.

  • February 22, 2024

    Law Firm Scolded For 'Misbegotten' ChatGPT Use In Fees Bid

    A Manhattan federal judge criticized a special education-focused law firm Thursday for citing ChatGPT calculations to back up its attorney fee request of more than $100,000, calling the move "utterly and unusually unpersuasive."

  • February 22, 2024

    IRS Agent, Gov't Attys Immune From RICO Suit, Judge Says

    An Arizona federal judge dismissed a $15 million lawsuit against an Internal Revenue Service agent and two assistant U.S. attorneys brought by an investment adviser convicted of filing false tax returns, saying Thursday the government employees were immune from claims that included racketeering and malicious prosecution.

  • February 22, 2024

    Judge Partially Tosses Suit Over Texas Beirut Bombing Suits

    A Texas federal judge has partially dismissed a lawsuit between two Houston attorneys and a Maryland firm they've accused of unfairly terminating a joint venture for litigation over the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, writing that the firm can't face suit in the Lone Star State because the duo initiated and executed the representation agreement while on the East Coast.

  • February 22, 2024

    Convicted Chicago Pol Seeks Acquittal Or New Trial

    One of Chicago's longest serving and most powerful local politicians asked an Illinois federal judge Wednesday to set aside a jury's December verdict convicting him of using his official position to steer tax business to his personal law firm, saying no rational jury could have convicted him based on the evidence presented at trial.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Refiles Defamation Case Against Influencer

    The $150 million defamation battle between former Greenberg Traurig LLP attorney Allan Kassenoff and the social media influencer he accuses of lying about his nightmarish divorce has entered a new phase as Kassenoff has filed a slimmed-down complaint after the previous one was dismissed for being "far longer than it needs to be."

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-DOJ Atty Has No Right To Block Testimony, Panel Told

    A former U.S. Department of Justice attorney accused of aiding Donald Trump's efforts to undermine the 2020 election results cannot claim executive privilege to block fellow former officials' testimony at his upcoming attorney disciplinary hearing, according to the Washington, D.C., bar's disciplinary counsel.

  • February 22, 2024

    Fla. Passes Bill To Allow Release Of Epstein Grand Jury Docs

    The Florida Legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would expand the current exceptions for grand jury secrecy and pave the way for the release of the 2006 grand jury investigation into the late billionaire serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

  • February 22, 2024

    Roberts, Thomas Don't Use Marshals For Travel Security

    Newly released U.S. Marshals Service reports show U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas have not used the agency's security services in recent years, a decision that a watchdog says shields their off-hours travels from public scrutiny.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-Mich. Judge May Lose Law License Loss Challenge

    A Michigan magistrate judge recommended the dismissal of a former judge's suit alleging the state's judicial disciplinary board defamed her by denying the reinstatement of her law license.

  • February 22, 2024

    Fla. Whistleblower Suit Deal Averts Littler's Disqualification

    Littler Mendelson PC won't have to face a disqualification bid in Florida federal court over a firm attorney's purported use of a mistakenly produced, privileged document at a deposition after its client reached a settlement in a whistleblower retaliation suit, court records show.

  • February 22, 2024

    Judge Wary Of Sanctions Bid In 'Fabricated' Infant Death Suit

    A Connecticut federal judge is worried about the possible consequences of sanctioning parties who brought what one company called a "fabricated" product liability lawsuit blaming it and Target Corp. for a baby's death, expressing concern Thursday that any factual findings could interfere with the plaintiffs' right to a jury trial.

  • February 22, 2024

    Locke Lord Settles Failed Health Plan Malpractice Suit

    Locke Lord LLP has reached a settlement to resolve a health plan fiduciary's malpractice suit alleging the firm provided bad legal advice that doomed the plan, permanently ending an Illinois federal suit first filed in 2018.

  • February 21, 2024

    Former Texas Atty Gets 50 Years For 'Ponzi-Type' Client Fraud

    A Texas federal judge sentenced a former San Antonio lawyer to 50 years in prison after he pled guilty to mishandling millions in client funds to support his "extravagant lifestyle," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement Wednesday.

  • February 21, 2024

    Voters Want Ga. Officials Sanctioned For Withheld Evidence

    Voting rights advocates who faced off with Georgia election officials at trial last month are now seeking sanctions against the Coffee County, Georgia, board of elections and its attorneys for allegedly withholding evidence related to a January 2021 voting machine breach in the county and for knowingly allowing a witness to lie under oath.

  • February 21, 2024

    GM Bolt Buyers' Attys Blasted For 'Wasting' Judge's Time

    A California federal judge on Wednesday scolded lawyers who filed about 150 "cookie cutter" lawsuits alleging General Motors knowingly sold Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles with defective batteries, asking why they shouldn't be sanctioned for "wasting" court time as claims for some model years will have to be withdrawn.

  • February 21, 2024

    Justices Urged To Turn Away $285M Panama Canal Award Suit

    The operator of the Panama Canal on Tuesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to turn away a case in which $285 million in arbitral awards are being challenged over an arbitrator's "evident partiality," saying close relationships between arbitrators are so "ubiquitous" in international arbitration that they are unremarkable.

  • February 21, 2024

    Morgan Stanley Bias Award Fight Belongs In NC, Judge Says

    A Morgan Stanley unit must challenge an arbitrator's conclusion that it discriminated against a white male former banker in North Carolina, where he last worked, a Georgia federal judge ruled, saying the arbitrator's presence in Atlanta during the virtual proceeding isn't enough to tether the case to the Peach State.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    History Reveals Folly Of Absolute Presidential Immunity

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    As a federal appeals court grapples with former President Donald Trump’s claims that he’s immune from prosecution on election interference charges, it’s a fitting time for lawyers to reflect on the rule of law — from 13th century jurisprudence to Watergate and the Clinton impeachment — and how the idea of absolute presidential immunity is unwise, says attorney Steven Reske.

  • Where Justices Stand On Chevron Doctrine Post-Argument

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    Following recent oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court, at least four justices appear to be in favor of overturning the long-standing Chevron deference, and three justices seem ready to uphold it, which means the ultimate decision may rest on Chief Justice John Roberts' vote, say Wayne D'Angelo and Zachary Lee at Kelley Drye.

  • Perspectives

    6 Practice Pointers For Pro Bono Immigration Practice

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    An attorney taking on their first pro bono immigration matter may find the law and procedures beguiling, but understanding key deadlines, the significance of individual immigration judges' rules and specialized aspects of the practice can help avoid common missteps, says Steven Malm at Haynes Boone.

  • Lessons From Country Singer's Personal Service Saga

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    Recent reports that country singer Luke Combs won a judgment against a Florida woman who didn’t receive notice of the counterfeit suit against her should serve as a reminder for attorneys on best practices for effectuating service by electronic means, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • Series

    Baking Bread Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    After many years practicing law, and a few years baking bread, I have learned that there are a few keys to success in both endeavors, including the assembly of a nourishing and resilient culture, and the ability to learn from failure and exercise patience, says Rick Robinson at Reed Smith.

  • Federal Courts And AI Standing Orders: Safety Or Overkill?

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    Several district court judges have issued standing orders regulating the use of artificial intelligence in their courts, but courts should consider following ordinary notice and comment procedures before implementing sweeping mandates that could be unnecessarily burdensome and counterproductive, say attorneys at Curtis.

  • Wachtell-X Ruling Highlights Trend On Arbitrability Question

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    A growing body of case law, including a California state court's recent decision in X Corp. v. Wachtell, holds that incorporation of specific arbitral body rules in an arbitration provision may in and of itself constitute clear and unmistakable evidence of delegation of arbitrability to an arbitrator, and thus such clauses should be drafted carefully, say attorneys at Norton Rose.

  • 7 E-Discovery Predictions For 2024 And Beyond

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    The legal and technical issues of e-discovery now affect virtually every lawsuit, and in the year to come, practitioners can expect practices and policies to evolve in a number of ways, from the expanded use of relevancy redactions to mandated information security provisions in protective orders, say attorneys at Littler.

  • On The Edge: Lessons In Patent Litigation Financing

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    A federal judge's recent request that the U.S. Department of Justice look into IP Edge patent litigation, and that counsel be disciplined, serves as a reminder for parties asserting intellectual property rights — and their attorneys — to exercise caution when structuring a litigation financing agreement, say Samuel Habein and James De Vellis at Foley & Lardner.

  • 5 Litigation Funding Trends To Note In 2024

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    Over the next year and beyond, litigation funding will continue to evolve in ways that affect attorneys and the larger litigation landscape, from the growth of a secondary market for funded claims, to rising interest rates restricting the availability of capital, says Jeffery Lula at GLS Capital.

  • Opinion

    Stronger Attorney Rules Are Needed To Avoid A Jan. 6 Repeat

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    Given the key role lawyers played in the events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, the legal profession must shore up its rules before this year’s presidential election to make clear that lawyers who undermine the rule of law will face severe penalties, including disbarment, says Ray Brescia at Albany Law School.

  • 4 Legal Ethics Considerations For The New Year

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    As attorneys and clients reset for a new year, now is a good time to take a step back and review some core ethical issues that attorneys should keep front of mind in 2024, including approaching generative artificial intelligence with caution and care, and avoiding pitfalls in outside counsel guidelines, say attorneys at HWG.

  • What The Law Firm Of The Future Will Look Like

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    As the legal landscape shifts, it’s become increasingly clear that the BigLaw business model must adapt in four key ways to remain viable, from fostering workplace flexibility to embracing technology, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • 4 PR Pointers When Your Case Is In The News

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    Media coverage of new lawsuits exploded last year, demonstrating why defense attorneys should devise a public relations plan that complements their legal strategy, incorporating several objectives to balance ethical obligations and advocacy, say Nathan Burchfiel at Pinkston and Ryan June at Castañeda + Heidelman.

  • Why Fed. Circ. Affirmed Attorney Fee Award In PersonalWeb

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    A recent Federal Circuit decision to leave a $5.2 million fee award in place in the PersonalWeb patent case underscores district courts' discretion to sanction unreasonable arguments and litigation tactics under the U.S. Code's attorney fee provision, say attorneys at Shearman. 

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