Legal Ethics

  • March 05, 2021

    Judge Says School District 'Greatly Overpaid' Morgan Lewis

    A New York federal judge awarded millions of dollars in attorney fees Friday to the NAACP after a Hudson Valley school district was found to be blocking minority voters' preferred candidates from the school board, while criticizing how much the school district paid its counsel at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

  • March 05, 2021

    CBD Co. Execs Can't Rewrite Admissions, Investor Says

    Executives of a CBD company shouldn't be allowed to take back admissions they already made, an investor in the company told a Nevada federal judge in regards to his case against them.

  • March 05, 2021

    Bezos Scores $218K Fees After 'Overstaffed' Legal Team's Win

    A California judge granted Jeff Bezos' request for attorney fees Friday after defeating a defamation suit by his girlfriend's brother over a phone hacking incident, but signed off on just $218,000 of the $1.68 million Bezos requested, finding his team was "overstaffed" with seven partners and 11 associates from two firms.

  • March 05, 2021

    Jones Day's Hacked Vendor Taps Latham For Breach Suits

    File transfer software vendor Accellion, whose recent hack may have exposed data from its BigLaw clients like Jones Day, has hired Latham & Watkins LLP to represent it in a slew of data breach lawsuits in federal court, according to attorney notice filings Thursday.

  • March 05, 2021

    Texas Attys Hit With $27M Malpractice Suit Over Ranch Deals

    The daughter of the past owner of a southwest Texas ranch has accused attorneys from San Antonio law firm Langley & Banack of leading her father astray for years and costing him more than $27 million by manipulating real estate deals for their own personal gain.

  • March 05, 2021

    No Sanctions For Objector In Wells Fargo Fake Account Deal

    A California federal judge has declined to sanction an objector to a Wells Fargo settlement over fake accounts after investors accused the objector and his attorneys of extorting $1.75 million from the bank, saying the court won't order disgorgement of a settlement reached in a state court lawsuit.

  • March 05, 2021

    After Deadline, Giuliani Wants Time To Answer Dominion Suit

    Rudolph Giuliani is asking a D.C. federal judge to give him roughly a month to respond to Dominion Voting Systems Corp.'s $1.3 billion defamation suit against him, a request that came a day after he was due to reply to the January complaint.

  • March 05, 2021

    Judge Won't Freeze Pollock Cohen Funds In Ex-Atty's Pay Suit

    A federal judge said Friday he had no power to freeze Pollock Cohen LLP's assets for a lawsuit filed by a former attorney seeking a slice of settlements reached by the firm in his cases after he was let go.

  • March 05, 2021

    Conn. Court Nixes 'Perry Mason Moment' In Workers' Suit

    Connecticut workers suing over employment discrimination cannot use a secret recording of their boss that allegedly contradicts his sworn account, a Connecticut federal court has ruled, saying the workers' lawyer tried to manufacture a plot twist straight out of the legal drama Perry Mason but entered the recording into evidence too late for it to be considered.

  • March 05, 2021

    Lin Wood Drops Alston & Bird In Pay Fight With Former Attys

    High-profile Atlanta libel attorney L. Lin Wood dropped Alston & Bird LLP as his defense counsel Thursday in a contract breach suit brought against him by lawyers who quit his law firm, asking a Georgia state court for an emergency stay of proceedings to find new representation.

  • March 05, 2021

    Firm Denies Extreme Conduct In Impaired Atty's Bias Suit

    Swanson Martin & Bell LLP asked an Illinois federal judge Thursday to trim a former nonequity partner's lawsuit alleging he was fired after developing a degenerative neurological condition, saying he can't show the firm's alleged conduct was extreme or outrageous enough to support his claim of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  • March 05, 2021

    SFO, Dechert Can't Force ENRC To Post £34M In Leaks Row

    Kazakh mining company ENRC does not have to post £34 million ($47 million) cash in its bitter legal struggle with Dechert LLP and the Serious Fraud Office, as a judge said on Friday that its financial woes were obvious last year. 

  • March 04, 2021

    LA Atty Must Disgorge $1.65M Fee For 'Egregious Conduct'

    A California judge ordered an attorney who represented Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers in a faulty billing lawsuit to disgorge $1.65 million in attorney fees and be held in contempt and sanctioned Thursday, saying he disobeyed court orders and withheld information about possible collusion with the city's attorneys.

  • March 04, 2021

    DLA Piper Beats Car Dealer's Malpractice Suit

    A Nevada federal judge on Wednesday axed a China-based auto dealer's legal malpractice suit against DLA Piper, finding the firm is not subject to general jurisdiction in Nevada since it doesn't have any offices, employees or property in the state.

  • March 04, 2021

    Wells Fargo Fights Bid To Reveal Atty Docs In Stock-Drop Row

    Wells Fargo has urged a California federal court overseeing a putative securities fraud class action to reject a request by investors that the bank reveal communications it had with Gibson Dunn, arguing that the documents are protected by attorney-client privilege.

  • March 04, 2021

    Hagens Berman Atty Admonished For 'Reckless' Apple Slip

    A California federal magistrate judge admonished a Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP attorney Thursday who revealed information about commission rates that Netflix and HBO apparently pay to Apple that he learned through Apple's discovery documents, but declined to sanction the attorney.

  • March 04, 2021

    Ill. Atty Pleads Not Guilty To Embezzling $31M From Bank

    A Chicago attorney and several former employees and executives of the shuttered Washington Federal Bank for Savings were among 10 defendants who pled not guilty Thursday to charges that they conspired in an elaborate scheme to embezzle tens of millions of dollars from the Chicago bank before it closed.

  • March 04, 2021

    Schlumberger Unit Says Albright's Past Clouds Transfer Bid

    Schlumberger unit M-I LLC said Thursday that it wants input from a Texas federal judge before agreeing to transfer its patent infringement case to U.S. District Judge Alan Albright, whose former firm used to represent the defendant in the case.

  • March 04, 2021

    2nd Circ. Vacates Sanctions For Donziger In Chevron Case

    A divided Second Circuit panel on Thursday overturned $666,476 in sanctions against Steven Donziger, who helped secure a fraudulent $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron Corp. in Ecuador, saying confusing constraints imposed on his fundraising activity undermined the penalty.

  • March 04, 2021

    Prosecutors In Texas AG Fraud Case Ask For Oral Arguments

    The special prosecutors pursuing felony securities fraud charges against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton have urged the appellate court that stayed the case in October to hear oral arguments over whether the suit belongs in Collin County or Harris County.

  • March 04, 2021

    Atty Must Arbitrate Fee Dispute With Racehorse Trader

    A California judge on Wednesday ordered an attorney to arbitrate her dispute with a U.K. racehorse auctioneer company, her former client, over fees allegedly due when she represented the company accusing a financier of failing to pay for a racehorse.

  • March 04, 2021

    Judge Who Lost Election Won't Be DQ'd From Harvey MDL

    A Texas appellate court on Thursday refused to disqualify a pretrial judge assigned to work on multidistrict litigation related to Hurricane Harvey flooding, rejecting an argument that because the judge lost an election she should not be allowed to preside.

  • March 04, 2021

    Post & Schell Failed To Disclose Docs In Arbitration, Suit Says

    A Post & Schell PC attorney representing Staples Inc. and Ryder Truck Rental in a case involving a 2004 truck crash should have disclosed additional insurance coverage that could have paid the rest of a crash victim's $1.4 million arbitration award, according to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania state court.

  • March 04, 2021

    Del. Justices Affirm Morris James' Softball Injury Suit Escape

    The Delaware Supreme Court on Wednesday affirmed a lower court decision that let Morris James LLP off the hook for a paralegal's claims that the firm retaliated against him for filing a workers' compensation claim over an injury he suffered while playing for its softball team.

  • March 04, 2021

    Pollock Cohen Says Ex-Atty Isn't Owed Bonus Pay After Firing

    Pollock Cohen LLP and three firm partners sought to toss a fired attorney's suit over bonus pay for a second time, telling a Pennsylvania federal court that he is not entitled to portions of settlements reached after he was let go.

Expert Analysis

  • Ethics Tips For Attorneys Telecommuting Across State Lines

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    Attorneys working remotely from jurisdictions in which they are not admitted should take precautionary steps to avoid engaging in unauthorized practice of law, say John Schmidt and Michael Seaman at Phillips Lytle.

  • Inside DC Bar's New Guidance On Multiple Representation

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    The D.C. Bar recently cleared the way for lawyers to represent both a party and a witness in the same case in guidance that could prove influential as multiple representation in employment cases becomes increasingly common, says Alan Kabat at Bernabei & Kabat.

  • 6 Ways Legal Employers Can Help Pandemic-Weary Parents

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    Parenting during the pandemic has introduced a series of competing personal and professional obligations for attorneys and professional staff, and even organizations that are supportive of their parent employees can take steps to do better, says Meredith Kahan at Saul Ewing.

  • Remote Working Tips For Lawyer Trainees And Their Firms

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    The prospect of joining a law firm during the pandemic can cause added pressure, but with a few good practices — and a little help from their firms and supervising attorneys — lawyer trainees can get ahead of the curve while working remotely, say William Morris and Ted Landray at King & Spalding.

  • What Biden's Ethics Pledge Means For Gov't Revolving Door

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    Attorneys at Nossaman look at how President Joe Biden’s ethics pledge goes beyond those of his predecessors by imposing post-employment shadow lobbying and golden parachute restrictions on his administration’s appointees — and how a House bill proposing expansion of federal ethics law could affect enforcement.

  • Opinion

    Punishing Bar Exam Policies On Menstrual Products Must Go

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    Law graduates across the states are sitting for the grueling two-day bar exam this week despite menstruation-related barriers, such as inadequate menstrual product and bathroom access, which could be eradicated with simple policy tweaks, say law professors Elizabeth Cooper, Margaret Johnson and Marcy Karin.

  • It's Time For Law Firms To Start Loving And Leveraging Data

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    The volume and diversity of data managed by law firms today — from client files to internal financial records — may seem daunting, but when properly organized, good data can help practitioners stay competitive by providing sharper insight into firm resources and cost of work, say Jaron Luttich and Barry Wiggins at Element Standard.

  • Keys To Protecting Clients During Law Firm Dissolution

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    Whether a law firm dissolution is amicable or adversarial, departing attorneys should take steps to maintain their legal and ethical responsibilities toward clients, and beware client confidentiality pitfalls when joining new firms, say John Schmidt and Colin Fitzgerald at Phillips Lytle.

  • How Case Management Orders Can Support New Attorneys

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    Courts are leading the way in ensuring oral argument opportunities for newer attorneys by incorporating innovative language in a variety of orders, and private parties can and should follow suit by incorporating similar language into case management orders, say Megan Jones and Halli Spraggins at Hausfeld.

  • An In-House Counsel's Guide To Better Work Management

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    Amid economic uncertainty and increasing pressure on corporate legal departments to do more with less, work management processes should be aimed at tracking legal teams' every contribution, including routine matters that can be reallocated to nonlegal staff, says Aaron Pierce at LexisNexis CounselLink.

  • Avoiding Materially Adverse Conflicts After New ABA Opinion

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    The American Bar Association's recent guidance on what constitutes materially adverse interests between clients makes clear that lawyers should not take comfort in a current representation just because a former client is not on the opposite side of the v., and those hoping to avoid disqualification should consider five steps, says Hilary Gerzhoy at Harris Wiltshire.

  • Rebuttal

    US Legal System Can Benefit From Nonlawyer Ownership

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    Contrary to claims made in a recent Law360 guest article, nonlawyer ownership has incrementally improved the England and Wales legal system — with more innovation and more opportunities for lawyers — and there is no reason why those outcomes cannot also be achieved in the U.S., say Crispin Passmore at Passmore Consulting and Zachariah DeMeola at the University of Denver.

  • Advocating For Broad Brady Orders Under New Criminal Rule

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    By following several advocacy suggestions, defense counsel can argue for making fulsome and protective orders for prosecutors to produce Brady exculpatory materials at the beginning of criminal cases under a new Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure, say attorneys at Steptoe & Johnson.

  • Building A Law Firm Knowledge Bank For Thought Leadership

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    Marketing professionals often do not have firsthand knowledge of current legal trends and client issues, so law firms need to commit to an ongoing knowledge extraction process — a series of steps to draw out attorney insights that can help marketers create effective and frequent thought leadership content, says Michelle Calcote King at Reputation Ink.

  • Let's Emerge From The Pandemic As Legal Innovators

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    The pandemic forced a digital reckoning on the legal profession — which switched to remote workforces, paperless workflows and digital signatures seemingly overnight — and law firms and corporate legal departments can keep up the innovation momentum with three guiding principles, says Kevin Clem at HBR Consulting.

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