Legal Ethics

  • April 09, 2020

    Lieff Cabraser Fights Order To Repay $1M In State Street Deal

    Lieff Cabraser said Thursday that it plans to challenge a $1.1 million repayment ordered by a Massachusetts federal judge who said the firm had overbilled a class of investors in a $300 million settlement with State Street Corp. over its foreign exchange practices.

  • April 09, 2020

    For Female Attys, Law Firm Diversity Initiatives Aren't Enough

    More than diversity statistics, female lawyers are increasingly paying attention to law firms' workplace culture, seeking interesting and rewarding work that will provide more job satisfaction, panelists said Thursday during an American Bar Association webinar.

  • April 09, 2020

    'Varsity Blues' Parents Say Feds Still Sitting On Key Evidence

    A day after defending themselves against misconduct allegations, the team prosecuting actress Lori Loughlin and other wealthy parents in the "Varsity Blues" case was accused Thursday of holding back notes the parents say could help prove their innocence.

  • April 09, 2020

    Pierce Bainbridge Acting Head, 3 Name Partners Resign

    Pierce Bainbridge’s acting leader has resigned along with three name partners and a rainmaker, part of what current and former attorneys describe as a cascade of departures in recent months that have left the litigation boutique reeling.

  • April 09, 2020

    Law Firm Accused Of Aiding Producer's Alleged Spycam Plot

    California-based law firm Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP has been hit with a lawsuit in Los Angeles court claiming one of its name partners was involved in Hollywood honcho Aaron Kaplan's alleged plot to plant spy cameras in the bedroom of his brother's widow.

  • April 09, 2020

    Fla. High Court Codifies Chief Justice's Emergency Powers

    The Florida Supreme Court said Thursday that in times of emergency, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the chief justice can take steps to mitigate difficulties the bar and its members may face in meeting requirements of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar.

  • April 09, 2020

    9th Circ. Says JAG Atty's License Case Belongs In Fed. Court

    A lawyer with the California Army National Guard is under hybrid state and federal oversight, the Ninth Circuit said Wednesday, and was properly granted a removal to federal court of a case accusing him of practicing law in California without a license.

  • April 09, 2020

    Troutman Sanders Fights For Partial Fee Award In FCA Suit

    Troutman Sanders LLP is hitting back against HealthSouth Corp.'s attempt to ax $200,000 in fees the firm was awarded for work it did before it was disqualified from representing a whistleblower in a suit alleging HealthSouth falsified patient records, arguing that the award was appropriate.

  • April 08, 2020

    Fla. Judge Rejects Kroger's Sanctions Bid In ADA Fight

    A Florida magistrate judge rejected calls by a unit of retail giant Kroger to sanction an attorney and his firm for missing court deadlines in an Americans with Disabilities Act suit, finding that Kroger's team had also shown a lack of "professional courtesy" in the case.

  • April 08, 2020

    Club Attacks SBA Ban On Virus Relief Loans For Strip Joints

    A Michigan strip club sued the Small Business Administration in federal court on Wednesday, claiming the agency violated the Constitution by implementing regulations barring COVID-19 relief loans for establishments that have "live performances of a prurient sexual nature."

  • April 08, 2020

    Investors Say Atty Helped Vape Co. Hide Fraud Allegations

    A pair of investors in what was supposed to be a national vape shop franchise sued the business and its attorney in Florida federal court Tuesday, claiming the lawyer helped the franchiser hide allegations of fraud levied in several lawsuits from potential backers.

  • April 08, 2020

    Nixon Peabody Beats Sanctions Bid Claiming Docs 'Scheme'

    A Maryland federal judge on Wednesday denied Wonder World Learning LLC's bid to sanction Nixon Peabody LLP and its client for allegedly running a "massive scheme" to hide key documents in the trademark dispute between the preschool franchise Kiddie Academy and its former franchisee based in Texas.

  • April 08, 2020

    New 'Varsity Blues' Evidence Puts Prosecutors On Defensive

    Federal prosecutors in the "Varsity Blues" college admissions case on Wednesday denied allegations that they instructed the scheme's mastermind to lie to Lori Loughlin and other parents and then hid the evidence for over a year, a bombshell claim that experts say is a bad look for the government even if it may not derail the case.

  • April 08, 2020

    DQ Sought For Attys Repping Co. And Board In Derivative Suit

    A shareholder in his family's manufacturing business urged a Kansas federal judge to disqualify two law firms from representing both the company and his siblings on its board of directors in his derivative suit over alleged self dealing, arguing that dual representation is a conflict of interest.

  • April 08, 2020

    Fla. Judge DQ'd From Publix Fatal Auto Crash Suit For Bias

    A Florida appeals court on Wednesday removed a judge from a suit accusing a Publix big-rig driver of causing a fatal auto collision while using a cellphone, saying the judge's comments at a hearing showed "disdain" for the company's legal position and its corporate policy on drivers' cellphone use.

  • April 08, 2020

    Third-Party Funders' Business Is Booming During Pandemic

    The economic turmoil unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic has left few businesses throughout the world untouched, but for arbitration and litigation funders, the past few weeks may mark the beginning of a boom.

  • April 08, 2020

    Firms Say Atty Misconduct Dooms Malpractice Suit

    Law firms accused of malpractice in underlying multidistrict litigation against Syngenta AG have urged a Kansas federal court to dismiss the suit, saying that the attorney for the farmers bringing the case has continued to defy a court order to participate in planning conferences and in submitting reports.

  • April 08, 2020

    Firm Beats Malpractice Suit Over Atty's Failed NJ Lounge

    Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP swatted away a malpractice suit from the former outside business partner of an attorney at the firm over their shuttered Jersey Shore lounge after a state appeals court found Tuesday that the lawyer’s purported misconduct was not tied to his work for the firm.

  • April 07, 2020

    Atty Gets Redo Of $8M Malicious Prosecution Award To Doc

    An Arizona appeals panel on Tuesday vacated an $8 million award against an attorney accused of wrongfully pursuing medical malpractice claims against a doctor, saying a new damages trial is warranted because the attorney should not have been held liable for abuse of process.

  • April 07, 2020

    Caltech Cites Apple, Broadcom Misconduct To Boost $1B Win

    The California Institute of Technology on Monday urged a California federal judge to double its more than $1.1 billion patent win over Apple Inc. and Broadcom Ltd., slamming the companies for "truly egregious" misconduct throughout the case, including purportedly inhibiting Caltech's discovery efforts and dragging their feet on disclosing evidence.

  • April 07, 2020

    Cahill Gordon Suspends 2020 Summer Associate Program

    Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP has decided to suspend its summer associate program for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the firm announced Tuesday though it says it will pay the associates who had been selected and will offer them full-time positions after graduation.

  • April 07, 2020

    King & Spalding's Bid To Seal Rates Is 'Untoward,' Judge Says

    A D.C. federal judge said Tuesday that there is something "untoward" about King & Spalding LLP requesting to seal information about its rates while seeking attorney fees in the form of public dollars, following the firm's win in a Freedom of Information Act dispute with the federal government.

  • April 07, 2020

    Pierce Firm Says No Do-Over For Atty In 'Gears Of War' Case

    A Pennsylvania lawyer who already lost a suit against trial firm Pierce Bainbridge over the alleged theft of a case involving the video game "Gears of War" shouldn't get a do-over in a second suit, the firm told a federal judge on Monday.

  • April 07, 2020

    Calif. Water District Says It's Working To Meet Design Order

    A California water district has asked a federal court to reject environmental and indigenous groups' accusations that it ignored deadlines for it to help the protected steelhead fish navigate the Vern Freeman Dam, arguing that the groups' expectations, especially during a pandemic, are unrealistic.

  • April 07, 2020

    5th Circ. Says Arbitration Group Not On Hook For $12M Tab

    The American Arbitration Association doesn't have to foot a $12 million legal bill after arbitrators' ethics violations voided the outcome of an arbitration proceeding in a more than $100 million dispute over liability for sinkhole damages, the Fifth Circuit ruled Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Beware COVID-Driven Lowball Offers From Insurers

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    Some insurers are unethically offering low settlement figures to policyholders who are in dire need of immediate financial assistance, and plaintiff attorneys have an obligation to ensure that their clients receive a fair payout, says Mike Arias at Arias Sanguinetti.

  • Don't Forget Firm Culture When Adapting To Remote Work

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    While law firms suddenly pivoting to remote work due to coronavirus restrictions are busy dealing with logistical challenges, an equally pressing and perhaps more difficult task may be adjusting a long-standing brick-and-mortar culture to working remotely for the first time, say Heather Clauson Haughian and Grant Walsh at Culhane Meadows.

  • Conducting Court Hearings Remotely: 12 Considerations

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    As more courts begin to explore remote hearings during the COVID-19 crisis, attorneys and courts should be aware of some of the common concerns accompanying video- and teleconferencing technology and make allowances to avoid these issues, say Attison Barnes III and Krystal Swendsboe at Wiley Rein.

  • The Era Of Video Mediation Is Here — Or Is It?

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    Mediator Jeff Kichaven has heard from several first-chair trial lawyers and senior claims executives that they are reluctant to adopt online video mediation even during the COVID-19 crisis, and says this reluctance is grounded in reality.

  • COVID-19 Highlights BigLaw Need For Emotional Intelligence

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    The formula for making decisions at BigLaw firms has historically been rooted in IQ-based factors, but with the ongoing pandemic, lawyers and firm leaders are increasingly dealing with issues that require emotional intelligence — from establishing effective virtual offices to retaining firm morale and client confidence, say Jolie Balido and Tina van der Ven at NewStar Media.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Shaming Of Attys Is Troubling Even During Pandemic

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    Judges have recently rebuked attorneys for wasting judicial resources to resolve minor issues during the COVID-19 crisis, including in a trademark lawsuit over unicorn drawings. But it is unfair to publicly flog lawyers for doing what they are trained to do, says Ronald Minkoff, chairman of Frankfurt Kurnit's professional responsibility group.

  • Don't Be Social Media Distancing: LinkedIn Tips For Lawyers

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    While we need to be physically apart at this time, lawyers and firms should be leaning into social media to reinforce and build relationships, and help guide clients through the coronavirus crisis, says marketing consultant Stefanie Marrone.

  • Remote Depositions: Coming To A Home Office Near You

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    Recent Texas state court orders indicate judges are increasingly requiring parties and nonparties to submit to remote depositions amid the pandemic. However, there are inherent drawbacks to such depositions, including limitations on attorneys’ ability to assess witness credibility, says Edward Duffy at Reed Smith.

  • Ways Lawyers Can Support The Most Vulnerable Right Now

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    In this global health and economic crisis, it is essential that lawyers recommit to inclusion, and fight for colleagues, clients, community members and friends who are most at risk, says Dru Levasseur, head of the National LGBT Bar Association's inclusion coaching and consulting program.

  • Confronting The Challenges Of Virtual Mediation

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    Conducting mediation via videoconference amid the ongoing pandemic poses significant challenges, including the difficulty of reading people when you are not with them in person. Daniel Garrie at JAMS shares six tips to overcome the limitations.

  • 3 Steps To Building Effective Teams While On Lockdown

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    When your team is working from different locations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, don’t default to just sending emails. Collaboration is much easier when team members are also communicating in real time over the phone or through videoconferences, say William Oxley and Meghan Rohling Kelly at BakerHostetler.

  • Client Advocacy Tips For Remote Hearings During COVID-19

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    As the judiciary implements telephone and video hearings in response to the coronavirus pandemic, attorneys can deliver effective advocacy by following certain best practices, such as using backup materials and specially preparing witnesses and exhibits, say attorneys at Fish & Richardson.

  • How To Conduct Depositions Remotely

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    Remote depositions are a useful tool for meeting discovery deadlines while allowing all parties to stay at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak. But they come with a unique set of challenges, say Eliot Williams and Daniel Rabinowitz at Baker Botts. 

  • A Guide To Zealously Representing Clients During COVID-19

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    The American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to be zealous advocates for clients' interests, but how do these rules apply in this unprecedented time of COVID-19? Anne Lockner at Robins Kaplan offers some pointers.

  • 7 Ways Attys Can Create The Right Home Office Environment

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    In the midst of this health crisis when lawyers are working from home with their loved ones around all day, practitioners need to ensure their “home” and “office” settings coexist without one trumping the needs of the other, says Luciana Fragali at Design Solutions.

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