Legal Ethics

  • November 21, 2019

    Pa. Justices Cast Doubt On Bias Claims Against Judiciary

    Members of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court cast doubt on an ex-Lehigh County probation officer’s bid to bring statutory anti-discrimination claims against his erstwhile employer as the justices suggested during oral arguments on Thursday that the judiciary’s internal procedures were sufficient to address allegations of bias.

  • November 21, 2019

    Attys Duck Punitives In Row Over Ex-Client's Sex Assault Trial

    A Pennsylvania state court has blocked a man who sued his attorneys over a $3 million sexual assault verdict from seeking punitive damages, though his legal malpractice case claiming his counsel botched the case may continue.

  • November 21, 2019

    Law360's The Week in Discipline

    A Massachusetts prosecutor who again contributed to a murder conviction being thrown out and a New York lawyer facing felony charges over hundreds of bogus lawsuits lead Law360's The Week in Discipline, which compiles sanctions and conduct charges that may have flown under the radar.

  • November 21, 2019

    NJ Paralegal Fraudulently Practiced Law, Appeals Court Finds

    A New Jersey paralegal is on the hook for fraud and $3,000 in damages for practicing law without a license in a client's child support dispute, a New Jersey appeals court said Thursday.

  • November 21, 2019

    Arbitration Cybersecurity Protocol Outlines Best Practices

    A new cybersecurity protocol for international arbitration unveiled Thursday aims at providing guidance to arbitrators, institutions and arbitration users on topics including baseline security measures, while making clear that it's the responsibility of all involved in an arbitration to address this increasingly important issue.

  • November 21, 2019

    Proskauer Pushes To Halt Stanford Ponzi Suit In Antigua

    Proskauer Rose LLP has asked a Texas federal court to move quickly to end litigation in Antigua that the firm says is barred after it paid $63 million to settle claims over a former partner's work for entities affiliated with the R. Allen Stanford $7 billion Ponzi scheme.

  • November 21, 2019

    DOJ Can't DQ Munger Tolles In Sprint, T-Mobile Merger Fight

    A New York federal judge on Thursday shot down a bid by the U.S. Department of Justice to intervene in several states' effort to block Sprint and T-Mobile's planned merger, saying that it was "inexcusable" that the attempt to disqualify the states' lead counsel at Munger Tolles & Olson was filed so late.

  • November 21, 2019

    3rd Circ. Nixes Ex-Atty's New Trial Bid Over Billing Scam

    The Third Circuit on Thursday shot down a disbarred immigration attorney’s bid for a new trial on charges of bilking two multinational companies out of hundreds of thousands of dollars for advertising services that were never provided, saying his purportedly newly discovered evidence would not likely lead to an acquittal.

  • November 21, 2019

    Pa. Justices Split On Disbarring Atty For Fling With Client

    A Philadelphia-area attorney who struck up a sexual relationship and engaged in improper financial dealings with a client came under scrutiny before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday as the justices, while clearly united in their disapproval of the conduct, appeared split on whether or not he should be disbarred.

  • November 21, 2019

    Atty Talks Over Tribune Buyout Are Protected, Ill. Justices Say

    Two foundations that were formerly the Tribune Co.'s second-largest shareholders don't have to fork over documents detailing their discussions with attorneys ahead of their participation in the Tribune's 2008 leveraged buyout, the Illinois Supreme Court said Thursday.

  • November 21, 2019

    Apple, Cisco Must Redo Fee Requests In 'Reckless' IP Fight

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup is ordering Apple and Cisco to resubmit their bids for attorney fees from a tech company they say dragged them into “recklessly litigated” patent disputes, warning that he may deny relief entirely if the new calculations are unreasonable.

  • November 21, 2019

    Legal Association's Prez Accuses Rivals Of Obstruction

    A Spanish attorney filed suit Wednesday in D.C. federal court against an international legal nonprofit that promotes the rule of law, saying that board members have attempted to block him from assuming his duties as the organization's president after he was elected.

  • November 21, 2019

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Guilty In Crypto Money Laundering Trial

    A Manhattan federal jury on Thursday found former Locke Lord LLP corporate partner Mark S. Scott guilty of helping "CryptoQueen" Ruja Ignatova, the fugitive head of the global OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, launder $400 million and lie to banks.

  • November 20, 2019

    Billionaire Grabbed Worker's Genitals, 2nd Witness Says

    A woman who worked at the offices of FilmOn told a Los Angeles jury Wednesday that she saw the company's founder Alki David walk up behind a female worker and grab her by the genitals, becoming the second witness to recount seeing the billionaire commit sexually battery on his accuser.

  • November 20, 2019

    Jussie Smollett Says False Reporting Charges Were Frame-Up

    Jussie Smollett said Wednesday that the city of Chicago, its police department and others participated in a malicious prosecution of the "Empire" actor after he was attacked earlier this year and then accused of staging the incident himself.

  • November 20, 2019

    Skeptical Rakoff Says ICE Arrest Power 'Unusual'

    U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff appeared skeptical Wednesday of the federal government's position that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have full, unreviewable discretion to arrest suspected unauthorized immigrants wherever officers see fit.

  • November 20, 2019

    Fed. Circ. Won't Lift Attorney's USPTO Suspension

    The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was within its rights to ban a Canadian attorney who had his Pennsylvania license suspended three times, practiced without a license in Massachusetts and submitted documents to the USPTO during one of the suspensions, the Federal Circuit said Wednesday.

  • November 20, 2019

    NJ Municipal Judge Reprimanded For 'Demeaning' Emails

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has reprimanded a municipal judge cited by ethics authorities for "demeaning" emails she sent to a prosecutor on New Year's Eve 2016, stopping short of harsher discipline that had been recommended by a judicial ethics panel.

  • November 20, 2019

    Pa. High Court Told To Suspend Sandusky Prosecutor

    A representative from the agency tasked with disciplining Pennsylvania attorneys leveled withering criticism against the lead prosecutor in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case as she urged the state's highest court on Wednesday to suspend him from the bar over purported violations of attorney-client privilege during the investigation.

  • November 20, 2019

    Judge Facing Ouster Tells NJ Justices To 'Do The Right Thing'

    A New Jersey state judge has implored the State Supreme Court to “do the right thing” and reject an ethics panel’s recommendation to oust her over her purported failure to notify police about her then-fugitive boyfriend’s whereabouts, saying her removal would be unduly harsh and unconstitutional.

  • November 20, 2019

    Ex-Fox Commentator Fights Atty's Bid To Nix Defamation Suit

    A former Fox News guest commentator who filed a $118 million defamation suit against a lawyer but whose own legal counsel missed a deadline to serve the initial complaint has urged a Texas federal court not to toss the case, as he would lose out on his claim.

  • November 20, 2019

    Pa. Judge Stays On Wetlands Case Handled By Former Clerk

    A Pennsylvania federal judge once again declined to step down from handling a long-running Clean Water Act lawsuit over concerns that an attorney for the government was once one of her law clerks and remained close.

  • November 20, 2019

    Sprint, T-Mobile Don't Want DQ Bid To Delay Merger Trial

    Sprint and T-Mobile told a New York federal court that they share the Justice Department's concerns about Munger Tolles & Olson LLP representing the contingent of states suing to block their merger, but asked that the trial not be postponed even if the firm gets disqualified.

  • November 20, 2019

    Restaurant.com CEO Hit With Suit Over 'Self-Interested' Acts

    Two investors in dining deals website Restaurant.com filed a derivative suit Wednesday in Delaware Chancery Court alleging the company’s CEO has engaged in "self-interested" dealings and unjustly enriched himself amid financial struggle that has led to the company being shopped at an undervalued price.

  • November 20, 2019

    Ex-Locke Lord Atty Got $50M From 'CryptoQueen,' Jury Told

    Former Locke Lord LLP partner Mark S. Scott was “obsessed” with money and was paid $50 million by "CryptoQueen" Ruja Ignatova, the fugitive head of the global OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, for helping her launder $400 million, prosecutors told a Manhattan jury Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • How To Hire Lateral Partners More Effectively

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    Although lateral partner hiring is the preferred method of inorganic growth among law firms, the traditional approach to vetting does not employ sufficient due diligence by the hiring firm, says Michael Ellenhorn at executive search firm Decipher Competitive Intelligence.

  • Texas Could Take Page From Mass.'s Judicial Selection Book

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    As Texas and other states review their judicial election processes, they would be well served by taking guidance from Massachusetts' Governor’s Council system, which protects the judiciary from the hazards of campaigning, says Richard Baker of New England Intellectual Property.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: McKeown Reviews 'Conversations With RBG'

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    Reading Jeffrey Rosen’s "Conversations With RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty, and Law" is like eavesdropping on the author and his subject while they discuss how the restrained judicial minimalist became the fiery leader of the opposition, says Ninth Circuit Judge M. Margaret McKeown.

  • Opinion

    Trump Adviser's Influence Should Sound Alarm In DACA Case

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    Next week, the Trump administration goes before the U.S. Supreme Court to support its cancellation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, but the troubling record of immigration adviser Kris Kobach should raise concerns about how legally sound the administration’s case will be, says Liz Mair of Mair Strategies.

  • 9th Circ. Ruling Stresses Need For Arbitrator Bias Disclosures

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    Following the Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Monster Energy v. City Beverages, arbitrators should consider whether to amend disclosures concerning potential conflicts of interest to meet the court's hypertechnical, but not wholly illogical, partiality standard, says Dustin Hecker at Arent Fox.

  • Opinion

    Flat-Fee Legal Billing Can Liberate Attorneys

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    Replacing hourly billing with flat-fee arrangements, especially for appellate work, will leave attorneys feeling free to spend as much time as necessary to produce their highest quality work, says Lawrence Ebner of Capital Appellate Advocacy.

  • Spoliation Rule Remains Ambiguous Despite Amendments

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    Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to provide a uniform standard of culpability for spoliation, cases with similar facts are still reaching differing results because the rule does not specify how a court should evaluate a party's intent, say attorneys at Pepper Hamilton.

  • Quid Pro Quo 101

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    As three House committees investigate allegations that President Donald Trump sought assistance from Ukraine in the upcoming election, the phrase “quid pro quo” is having a moment; its meaning, however, is limited and specific in federal crimes involving graft, says Luke Cass at Quarles & Brady.

  • 5 Trends Influencing RFPs For Law Firms

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    Requests for proposals, the standard tool of companies evaluating law firms, are becoming better suited to the legal industry, says Matthew Prinn of RFP Advisory Group.

  • Series

    Why I Became A Lawyer: Being There For Families In Trouble

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    My parents' contentious, drawn-out divorce was one of the worst experiences of my life. But it taught me how to be resilient — and ultimately led me to leave corporate litigation for a career in family law, helping other families during their own difficult times, says Sheryl Seiden of Seiden Family Law.

  • Where Law Firm Partners Go When Changing Jobs

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    We reviewed 177 law firm partners' job changes from the last seven years and discovered some migration patterns and gender dynamics, say James Bailey of the George Washington University School of Business and Jane Azzinaro of Cognizant.

  • 3 Ways To Leverage Vulnerability For Lawyer Well-Being

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    Admitting to imperfection is an elusive construct in the legal industry, but addressing this roadblock by capitalizing on vulnerabilities can increase personal and professional power, says life coach and attorney Julie Krolczyk.

  • High Court FDCPA Case Faced Uphill Battle From The Start

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    At U.S. Supreme Court arguments in Rotkiske v. Klemm last week, divergent views on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act’s statute of limitation for the common law discovery rule emerged, and questions from the justices suggest the plaintiff’s waiver of the equitable tolling doctrine at the lower court level was the death knell for his case, say attorneys at Reed Smith.

  • New Data Shows BigLaw's True Profitability

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    Based on an analysis adjusting BigLaw operating income and revenue to account for equity partners and taxes, the profitability of firms is lower than commonly thought, says Madhav Srinivasan at Hunton.

  • Opinion

    Courts Keep Rejecting Litigation Funding Discovery Campaign

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    As shown by recent case law, including a New Jersey federal court holding last month in Valsartan Products Liability Litigation, there is no "shifting tide" in favor of disclosing litigation funding arrangements, say Matthew Harrison and Stephanie Southwick of Bentham IMF.