Legal Ethics

  • June 06, 2024

    NJ Law Firm Ducks Malpractice Judgment Against Ex-Atty

    New Jersey appellate judges upheld a decision that found that Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins can't be held responsible for a $378,000 legal malpractice suit judgment against one of its former attorneys for actions prior to joining the firm and in a suit where it was not a party.

  • June 06, 2024

    Bannon Ordered To Start Prison Term By July 1

    Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon was ordered Thursday in D.C. federal court to surrender and begin his four-month prison sentence for defying a congressional subpoena by July 1, after losing his appeal in the D.C. Circuit.

  • June 06, 2024

    Law Firm Says Axe 'Draconian' J&J Subpoena In Talc Claim

    A Mississippi plaintiffs firm urged a New Jersey federal court on Thursday to quash a subpoena served by Johnson & Johnson requesting that the firm turn over documents related to litigation funding and its communication with media outlets, calling the subpoena "draconian" and improper as the firm is not a party to the pharmaceutical giant's current personal injury litigation surrounding its talcum powder products.

  • June 06, 2024

    Troutman Pepper Partner Pulled Into Ex-Associate's Bias Suit

    A Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP partner has been added as a defendant in a racial discrimination lawsuit a former Black associate filed, who now claims the partner, a formerly supportive mentor, made the decision to fire her after she complained about an email the associate described as racist.

  • June 06, 2024

    Teachers Want Cozen O'Connor Kicked Off Equal-Pay Case

    Rather than having a Pennsylvania federal judge who has presided over their equal-pay case for years recuse himself over having a son-in-law who's a shareholder at Cozen O'Connor, a class of female teachers asked the court to kick Cozen O'Connor PC off the case Thursday.

  • June 06, 2024

    Law Firms Accused Of Missing 'Red Flags' In NJ Fraud Deal

    A legal malpractice suit filed in New Jersey state court accuses Rivkin Radler LLP and Kunstlinger Law Firm LLC of costing clients millions of dollars by failing to detect "obvious 'red flags'" amid a fraudulent business deal.

  • June 05, 2024

    Atty Carried Gun, Rope During Attempted Break-In, Police Say

    Police in Royal Oak, Michigan, said Tuesday they have arrested a Dearborn personal injury attorney after he allegedly tried to break into the home of a former co-worker while carrying a firearm, knife, handcuffs and other "concerning items."

  • June 05, 2024

    PwC Asks Calif. Justices To Revive $2.5M Sanction Against LA

    PwC urged the California Supreme Court on Wednesday to revive a $2.5 million sanction against the city of Los Angeles for yearslong discovery misconduct in an underlying utility billing dispute, arguing the trial court's inherent authority to pose such penalties isn't limited to nonmonetary sanctions.

  • June 05, 2024

    Colo. Judge Doubts Atty's Intent In Cyclist's Death

    A Colorado federal judge was skeptical Wednesday that an attorney made a conscious decision when he crashed into and killed a cyclist, imperiling an attempt by the cyclist's spouse to seek exemplary damages.

  • June 05, 2024

    Scrutinize Gag Order On Trump's Twitter DMs, X Tells Justices

    X Corp. is pressing the U.S. Supreme Court to review a court order allowing special counsel Jack Smith to obtain messages from Donald Trump's account on the social media platform while barring X from alerting the former president beforehand.

  • June 05, 2024

    Wash. Appeals Judge Grills Game Artist Who Ignored Court Orders

    A Washington state appellate court judge pressed a role-playing game illustrator Wednesday on why he deserved to have his defamation suit against the gaming convention GenCon revived, noting he ignored discovery orders while failing to justify the lapses to a trial court, resulting in terminating sanctions.

  • June 05, 2024

    Brown Rudnick Partner's 50% Fee Hike Nixed In Ch. 11 Case

    A Brown Rudnick LLP bankruptcy partner Wednesday had his 50% fee increase rejected by a Delaware judge, who took issue with the proposed hike to $1,500 an hour for representing the creditors' committee in Kidde-Fenwal Inc.'s Chapter 11 case.

  • June 05, 2024

    Ex-Sacks Weston Atty Blames 'Toxic' Firm For His Theft

    A Philadelphia attorney convicted of defrauding his former law firm told a state ethics panel Wednesday that he was remorseful for his deeds, but he noted he was driven to his crime by being owed money by his firm for too long.

  • June 05, 2024

    Trump Gag Order Still Needed Through Sentencing, DA Says

    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office has asked a judge not to lift the gag order on Donald Trump before the convicted former president's sentencing next month, arguing in a letter released Wednesday that there is still a need to "protect the integrity" of the hush money case.

  • June 05, 2024

    Ga. Trump Election Case On Hold For DA DQ Appeal

    The Georgia Court of Appeals on Wednesday temporarily halted proceedings in the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his co-defendants while it reviews a trial judge's ruling allowing Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis to continue prosecuting the case.

  • June 05, 2024

    $900K Injury Verdict Sparks Fee Squabble In Connecticut

    Connecticut law firm Ventura and Ribeiro LLP is taking Perkins and Associates PC to state court over the legal fees from a $900,000 personal injury case settlement that both firms worked on, claiming that Perkins is trying to take too much of the pie.

  • June 05, 2024

    An Ex-BigLaw Atty Shot His Wife. Who Gets Her Settlement?

    The administrator of the estate of Diane McIver, who was fatally shot by her husband, former Fisher Phillips partner Claud "Tex" McIver, while driving through Atlanta in 2016, has asked a Georgia state court to decide who is entitled to settlement funds from a wrongful death case brought by the estate.

  • June 05, 2024

    After Judge Takes Trip To Israel, Attys Want Him Off Gaza Case

    Palestinian rights activists asked a Ninth Circuit judge to recuse himself from a case claiming that the Biden administration flouted international laws barring genocide by supporting Israel's military efforts in Gaza, noting that the judge recently took a trip to Israel sponsored by the World Jewish Congress.

  • June 05, 2024

    Federal Judges Facing Scrutiny For Clerk-Hiring Boycotts

    The federal judiciary must take a look at its judges' hiring practices in the wake of some jurists' public refusal to hire students from certain law schools over on-campus political activity over the Israel-Hamas war, a nonprofit government watchdog said Wednesday.

  • June 05, 2024

    Houston Law Firm Can't Arbitrate 'Excessive' Fees Claims

    A homeowners' association can proceed with its lawsuit against Vethan Law Firm PC in a Texas state court over allegedly "needless and excessive fees" because the firm failed to prove the existence of an arbitration agreement, a Texas state appellate court has ruled.

  • June 05, 2024

    AAA Says Fee Critique 'Flawed' For Missed Eclipse Day Depo

    An attorney sanctioned for missing a deposition in Florida while he was in Arkansas viewing April's solar eclipse used "guesswork" in a response asking a federal judge in the Sunshine State to whittle a request for $7,800 in fees down to just over $1,200, according to a reply filed this week by AAA in a lawsuit by a former employee.

  • June 05, 2024

    Texas Atty Accuses Ex-Partner Of 'Unilaterally Doubling' Comp

    A Houston-area attorney is suing Bergquist Law Firm PLLC and its owner for nearly $7 million for "unrelenting" violations of their partnership agreement and fiduciary duties.

  • June 05, 2024

    Black Jurors Wrongly Excluded From Fla. Trial, 11th Circ. Told

    A Florida attorney on Wednesday urged an Eleventh Circuit panel to revive his federal complaint against the city of Orlando, saying the wrong statute of limitations standard was used to dismiss a lawsuit alleging his civil rights were violated when opposing lawyers had Black jurors removed from his personal injury trial against the city.

  • June 05, 2024

    Donziger Deserves Pardon, Enviro Groups Tell Biden

    A group of environmental and human rights groups are calling on President Joe Biden to pardon disbarred environmental lawyer Steven Donziger for his criminal contempt conviction in litigation brought by Chevron over his role in securing a $9.5 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador.

  • June 05, 2024

    Ex-Skadden Atty, Credit Suisse Beat TransPerfect's Fraud Suit

    A Delaware federal judge has tossed TransPerfect Holdings LLC's lawsuit alleging that misrepresentations by a now-retired Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP partner and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC led it to pay too much for language translation company TransPerfect Global Inc., finding that claims are time-barred.

Expert Analysis

  • How And Why Your Firm Should Implement Fixed-Fee Billing

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    Amid rising burnout in the legal industry and client efforts to curtail spending, pivoting to a fixed-fee billing model may improve client-attorney relationships and offer lawyers financial, logistical and stress relief — while still maintaining profit margins, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Needs Defense Amid Political Threats

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    Amid recent and historic challenges to the judiciary from political forces, safeguarding judicial independence and maintaining the integrity of the legal system is increasingly urgent, says Robert Peck at the Center for Constitutional Litigation.

  • How Law Firms Can Use Account-Based Marketing Strategies

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    Amid several evolving legal industry trends, account-based marketing can help law firms uncover additional revenue-generating opportunities with existing clients, with key considerations ranging from data analytics to relationship building, say Jennifer Ramsey at stage LLC and consultant Gina Sponzilli.

  • Strategic Succession Planning At Law Firms Is Crucial

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    Senior partners' reluctance to retire, the rise of the nonequity partner tier and generational differences in expectations are all contributing to an increasing number of departures from BigLaw, making it imperative for firms to encourage retirement among senior ranks and provide clearer leadership pathways to junior attorneys, says Laura Leopard at Leopard Solutions.

  • Maximizing Law Firm Profitability In Uncertain Times

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    As threats of an economic downturn loom, firms can boost profits by embracing the power of bottom-line management and creating an ecosystem where strategic financial oversight and robust timekeeping practices meet evolved client relations, says Shireen Hilal at Maior Strategic Consulting.

  • Alleged $636M Deal Error Highlights Ethics Considerations

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    Adelman v. Proskauer, a malpractice suit that allegedly arose from a cut-and-paste error resulting in potential damages of $636 million, presents an intriguing juxtaposition of facts and legal issues — and practical ethical considerations for transactions attorneys, says Richard Leisner at Trenam Law.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Reminds Attys That CBP Can Search Devices

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent Malik v. Department of Homeland Security decision adds to the chorus of federal courts holding that border agents don’t need a warrant to search travelers’ electronic devices, so attorneys should consider certain special precautions to secure privileged information when reentering the U.S., says Jennifer Freel at Jackson Walker.

  • Alleged $636M Deal Error Shows Value Of Old-School Methods

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    Though Proskauer Rose has now settled claims involving a copy-paste error in deal documents that could have resulted in $636 million in damages, the debacle reminds attorneys that classic revision methods using paper copies can help avoid drafting errors and actually save time in the long run, says Richard Leisner at Trenam.

  • Twitter Sanction Highlights Privacy Law's Complexity

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    The D.C. Circuit's recent decision to uphold a sanction against X Corp., formerly known as Twitter, for failing to produce account records in response to a subpoena highlights the importance of understanding the Stored Communications Act, particularly when deciding to produce or not produce data, says Cary Aronovitz at Holland & Knight.

  • Avoiding The Ethical Pitfalls Of Crowdfunded Legal Fees

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    The crowdfunding of legal fees has become increasingly common, providing a new way for people to afford legal services, but attorneys who accept crowdsourced funds must remember several key ethical obligations to mitigate their risks, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Julienne Pasichow at HWG.

  • What Large Language Models Mean For Document Review

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    Courts often subject parties using technology assisted review to greater scrutiny than parties conducting linear, manual document review, so parties using large language models for document review should expect even more attention, along with a corresponding need for quality control and validation, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • Series

    Participating In Living History Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My role as a baron in a living history group, and my work as volunteer corporate counsel for a book series fan association, has provided me several opportunities to practice in unexpected areas of law — opening doors to experiences that have nurtured invaluable personal and professional skills, says Matthew Parker at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Opinion

    Private Equity Owners Can Remedy Law Firms' Agency Issues

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    Nonlawyer, private-equity ownership of law firms can benefit shareholders and others vulnerable to governance issues such as disparate interests, and can in turn help resolve agency problems, says Michael Di Gennaro at The Law Practice Exchange.

  • How To Protect Atty-Client Privilege While Using Generative AI

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    When using generative artificial intelligence tools, attorneys should consider several safeguards to avoid breaches or complications in attorney-client privilege, say Antonious Sadek and Christopher Campbell at DLA Piper.

  • How New Lawyers Can Leverage Feedback For Growth

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    Embracing constructive criticism as a tool for success can help new lawyers accelerate their professional growth and law firms build a culture of continuous improvement, says Katie Aldrich at Fringe Professional Development.

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