Legal Ethics

  • February 14, 2024

    Feds Get Pause Of Fla. Malpractice Suit Amid Criminal Case

    A Florida federal judge has put a malpractice lawsuit against a New York attorney on hold while federal prosecutors pursue a securities fraud case against the lawyer's former client in Pennsylvania.

  • February 14, 2024

    Fox Rothschild Blasts 'Chicanery' Suit As Bid For 'Payday'

    Fox Rothschild LLP ripped into a malpractice lawsuit by two men alleging the firm mishandled their immigration matters as "chicanery" in pursuit of a payout from the firm and urged a New Jersey federal court to dismiss their second amended complaint with prejudice.

  • February 14, 2024

    Miami Law Firm Not Covered In Overbilling Row, Judge Says

    An insurer does not have to defend a Miami law firm in a lawsuit accusing it of overbilling a client, a Florida federal judge has ruled, finding that the underlying allegations do not constitute professional services as defined by the firm's policy.

  • February 14, 2024

    Ex-Atty Can't Delay Prison Amid Pot Bribe Appeal, Judge Says

    A Boston federal judge on Wednesday shot down a former Massachusetts attorney's request to put off his 24-month prison sentence while appealing his conviction for bribing a local police chief to boost his client's retail cannabis application.

  • February 13, 2024

    Attys Must Reveal Possible Tie To 'Disturbing' Flint PR Move

    A Michigan federal judge on Tuesday tore into attorneys for a water engineering firm being sued for its alleged role in the Flint water crisis, warning them of severe repercussions if they are found to be involved in a campaign to disparage opposing counsel.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Can't Toss Claims As Sanctions In Hotel Fire Suit

    A Colorado federal judge has rejected an insurer's request to toss a construction contractor's counterclaims as sanctions for discovery failures in a dispute over a $3 million hotel fire, with the judge finding no problems with a magistrate judge's decision to instead award attorney fees and costs.

  • February 13, 2024

    Judge Disqualifies Alston & Bird Over Conflict In IP Case

    A California federal judge granted Rocket Resume's request to withdraw Alston & Bird LLP as its counsel in a copyright suit against Bold Ltd., which had previously asked to disqualify the firm over its past legal work for Bold.

  • February 13, 2024

    $1.37M Conn. Contract Suit Revived After Counsel Secured

    A federal breach of contract lawsuit arising from the construction of an apartment complex in Hartford can proceed now that the plaintiff has secured new counsel, a judge in the District of Connecticut ruled Tuesday in overturning her own decision to kill the case last October.

  • February 13, 2024

    'Rust' Armorer's Phone Snafu Shows Risks Of Texting Clients

    A legal dust-up over compromised text messages between a movie prop weapons expert and her lawyer in the "Rust" film shooting case raises questions about whether attorneys should text with clients and serves as a cautionary tale for prosecutors and the defense on the importance of protecting privileged communications, experts say.

  • February 13, 2024

    Trans Inmate Wins Move To Women's Prison After 6-Year Saga

    An incarcerated person with gender dysphoria will be moved to a women's prison and is on track to receive gender-affirming care after a Massachusetts federal judge found that her rights had been violated, ending a six-year wait for a ruling in a case that had stalled on the docket.

  • February 13, 2024

    AI-Generated Fake Case Law Leads To Sanctions In Wage Suit

    The owner of a Missouri-based technology business that was ordered to pay an ex-employee roughly $311,000 in unpaid wages, damages and legal costs was sanctioned Tuesday by an appellate court for briefing "deficiencies," including submitting fake cases generated by artificial intelligence.

  • February 13, 2024

    Ex-Atty Appealing Pot Bribe Conviction Says Prison Can Wait

    A former Massachusetts attorney convicted over an alleged cannabis licensing quid pro quo told a Boston federal judge Tuesday that multiple close-call legal issues warrant a delay of his 24-month prison sentence until the First Circuit decides his forthcoming appeal.

  • February 13, 2024

    Cuomo Says Law Firms Won't Comply With Subpoenas

    Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to force law firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Vladeck Raskin & Clark PC to turn over information about the women whose sexual misconduct accusations forced him to resign, even as those women accuse Cuomo of "blatantly" weaponizing his taxpayer-funded attorneys to mount a "revenge" campaign through the courts.

  • February 13, 2024

    NJ Judge Fights Ethics Charges Over Aide's Remote Work

    A New Jersey state judge is fighting an ethics complaint alleging that he improperly let his secretary work remotely, arguing that he believed he had the discretion to make that kind of working arrangement and, at most, he made an "honest mistake" in that regard.

  • February 13, 2024

    Ex-DraftKings Exec's Attys Seek $310K For Court Pingpong

    Lawyers for a former DraftKings Inc. executive who recently defected to rival Fanatics are seeking more than $310,000 in attorney fees, arguing the amount is reasonable and would cover their work for two "objectively unreasonable" removals of the case to federal court by DraftKings, behavior they called "disturbing litigation conduct."

  • February 13, 2024

    Fla. Atty Says Philly Firm Can't Sue Her In Sunshine State

    A Florida attorney urged a Sunshine State federal court to throw out the counterclaims and affirmative defenses of a Philadelphia-based personal injury firm, arguing Florida law cannot be applied to their dispute over claims she was running a side business as a litigation fee expert.

  • February 13, 2024

    Fla. Judge Drops Bid To Avoid Depo In Rival's Ethics Case

    A Florida state appellate judge told the state's highest court Tuesday he will comply with a disciplinary panel's order for him to sit for a deposition in an ethics case against a former campaign rival.

  • February 13, 2024

    Fired McElroy Deutsch Exec Pursues Firm Leaders' Amex Info

    A former executive at McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP, who is accused with her husband of stealing over $3 million from the firm, doubled down on her discovery request this week for corporate credit card statements from several firm leaders, rejecting the argument that their credit card use is not comparable to hers.

  • February 13, 2024

    Ex-Wilson Elser Atty Can't Get Benefits For Chronic Fatigue

    A former Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP partner is not entitled to long-term disability benefits, as he did not prove that his chronic fatigue syndrome kept him from doing his job, a Nevada federal judge has ruled.

  • February 13, 2024

    Detroit Judge Staves Off Ethics Charge Over Lying Witness

    Michigan's judicial watchdog fully dismissed Monday an ethics complaint against a Detroit judge alleging he facilitated perjury from a confidential informant while he was a prosecutor, though two commissioners said there was evidence to support that he lied about knowing the informant's true motivations.

  • February 12, 2024

    Retailer Sues Zimmerman Reed To End Privacy 'Shakedown'

    Zimmerman Reed LLP and thousands of its clients are unlawfully conspiring to "weaponize" a California wiretapping law in bringing a crush of arbitration claims against L'Occitane over its website user tracking practices, the cosmetics and home goods retailer alleged in urging a California federal court to put an end to this "shakedown."

  • February 12, 2024

    Google Wins More Atty Fees In 'Frivolous' IP Suit

    A California federal judge on Monday awarded Google additional attorney fees and costs in a patent infringement suit brought by EscapeX IP, saying the patent assertion entity's objections to the initial fee award were "frivolous" and constituted "recklessness."

  • February 12, 2024

    Ex-Levi & Korsinsky Partner Drops Sex Bias Suit Against Firm

    A former partner at Levi & Korsinsky LLP on Monday permanently dropped her New York federal court lawsuit alleging sex-based discrimination and retaliation.

  • February 12, 2024

    Fani Willis' DQ From Trump Case 'Possible,' Ga. Judge Says

    The Georgia state judge presiding over the election interference case against former President Donald Trump said Monday that "it's possible" Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis' admitted relationship with a top prosecutor on the case could end in her disqualification, and is allowing a hearing on the issue planned for this week to go forward.

  • February 12, 2024

    Andes, Oxy Resolve $392M Ecuadorian Award Fight

    An Occidental Petroleum unit has resolved its feud with a Chinese-owned oil company over a $392 million arbitral award stemming from an ill-fated Ecuadorian oil project, a case that Occidental was attempting to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Expert Analysis

  • To Hire And Keep Top Talent, Think Beyond Compensation

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    Firms seeking to appeal to sophisticated clients and top-level partners should promote mentorship, ensure that attorneys from diverse backgrounds feel valued, and clarify policies about at-home work, says Patrick Moya at Quaero Group.

  • Ethics Issues For Mainland Firms Involved In Maui Fire Suits

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    Before law firms located outside of Hawaii represent clients affected by the Lahaina wildfires, they must be aware of local ethics rules and regulatory gray areas, as any any ethical missteps could have major ramifications for the firm's practice in its home jurisdiction, says Ryan Little at Klinedinst.

  • Perspectives

    More States Should Join Effort To Close Legal Services Gap

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    Colorado is the most recent state to allow other types of legal providers, not just attorneys, to offer specific services in certain circumstances — and more states should rethink the century-old assumptions that shape our current regulatory rules, say Natalie Anne Knowlton and Janet Drobinske at the University of Denver.

  • Identifying Trends And Tips In Litigation Financing Disclosure

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    Growing interest and controversy in litigation financing raise several salient concerns, but exploring recent compelled disclosure trends from courts around the country can help practitioners further their clients' interests, say Sean Callagy and Samuel Sokolsky at Arnold & Porter.

  • Attorneys Using AI Shouldn't Worry About Waiving Privilege

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    As large language models become more advanced, attorneys may be concerned that sending confidential data to companies like OpenAI risks waiving attorney-client or work-product privilege, but there’s nothing about such tools that would negate the reasonable expectation of privacy, say John Tredennick and William Webber at Merlin.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Elrod On 'Jury Duty'

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    Though the mockumentary series “Jury Duty” features purposely outrageous characters, it offers a solemn lesson about the simple but brilliant design of the right to trial by jury, with an unwitting protagonist who even John Adams may have welcomed as an impartial foreperson, says Fifth Circuit Judge Jennifer Elrod.

  • NJ Justices Clarify Bribery Law Scope, But Questions Remain

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    The New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent State v. O'Donnell decision clarified that the state’s bribery law unambiguously applies to candidates for public office, but there are still unresolved questions about how the ruling may affect lobbyists, undeclared candidates and political speech, says Scott Coffina at Pietragallo Gordon.

  • 4 Business-Building Strategies For Introvert Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Introverted lawyers can build client bases to rival their extroverted peers’ by adapting time-tested strategies for business development that can work for any personality — such as claiming a niche, networking for maximum impact, drawing on existing contacts and more, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • Opinion

    3 Ways Justices' Disclosure Defenses Miss The Ethical Point

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    The rule-bound interpretation of financial disclosures preferred by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — demonstrated in their respective statements defending their failure to disclose gifts from billionaires — show that they do not understand the ethical aspects of the public's concern, says Jim Moliterno at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

  • Trump's 'I Thought I Won' Jan. 6 Defense Is Unlikely To Prevail

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    Since being indicted for his alleged attempts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump’s legal team has argued that because he genuinely believed he won, his actions were not fraudulent — but this so-called mistake of fact defense will face a steep uphill battle for several key reasons, says Elizabeth Roper at Baker McKenzie.

  • Caregiver Flexibility Is Crucial For Atty Engagement, Retention

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    As the battle for top talent continues post-pandemic, many firms are attempting to attract employees with progressive hybrid working environments — and supporting caregivers before, during and after an extended leave is a critically important way to retain top talent, says Manar Morales at The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

  • How Judicial Privilege Shields Attys Facing Wiretap Violations

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    A recent ruling from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, as well as past rulings across the country, indicates that the judicial privilege is applicable to alleged violations of wiretapping laws, so attorneys presented with audio evidence beneficial to their case should not fear being sued, says David Scott at Kang Haggerty.

  • In-Office Engagement Is Essential To Associate Development

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    As law firms develop return-to-office policies that allow hybrid work arrangements, they should incorporate the specific types of in-person engagement likely to help associates develop attributes common among successful firm leaders, says Liisa Thomas at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Perspectives

    A Judge's Pitch To Revive The Jury Trial

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    Ohio state Judge Pierre Bergeron explains how the decline of the jury trial threatens public confidence in the judiciary and even democracy as a whole, and he offers ideas to restore this sacred right.

  • How To Recognize And Recover From Lawyer Loneliness

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    Law can be one of the loneliest professions, but there are practical steps that attorneys and their managers can take to help themselves and their peers improve their emotional health, strengthen their social bonds and protect their performance, says psychologist and attorney Traci Cipriano.

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