Legal Ethics

  • June 05, 2024

    NY Gov. Denies Cop-Shoving Judge New Term

    A Buffalo judge censured for brawling with neighbors, shoving a police officer and bragging about his ties to power was denied a second term by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, who took the unusual step of rejecting the judge's request for reappointment.

  • June 04, 2024

    Judiciary Panel Clears 1st MDL Rule, Eyes 'Mouthpiece' Amici

    Top rulemaking gatekeepers for the federal judiciary Tuesday capped off seven years of strife in the defense and plaintiffs bars by backing a milestone measure aimed at optimizing multidistrict litigation, and then promptly greenlighted an entirely different war of words over new efforts to ferret out amicus briefs from "paid mouthpieces" masquerading as independent experts.

  • June 04, 2024

    Trump Wants Gag Orders Terminated In Wake Of Guilty Verdict

    Donald Trump asked a New York County judge to terminate gag orders restricting the former president from making out-of-court statements during his criminal trial, arguing that the "restrictions" on his First Amendment rights are no longer warranted now that the trial has come to an end.

  • June 04, 2024

    Atty's Argentine Uber Debut Fight Lands At Calif. High Court

    Barring fraudulent concealment claims under the so-called economic loss doctrine would create "perverse incentives" for people to draw others into contracts and "have their way with them," the California Supreme Court was told Tuesday by counsel for an Argentinian attorney suing Uber on allegations it hid crucial information from him.

  • June 04, 2024

    Judge Skeptical School Mask Opponent Can Duck Sanctions

    A Washington state appellate judge appeared doubtful Monday that $30,000 in sanctions for a man and his attorneys were unwarranted, after a trial court judge found his school board recall petitions were meant to bully board members into flouting a state COVID-19 mask mandate.

  • June 04, 2024

    Removal Of Poaching Suit Backed By Congress, Atty Argues

    A former associate of a Houston personal injury firm accused of stealing client files and recording hours of private conversations told the Fifth Circuit on Tuesday that Congress provides "the luxury of a bright-line rule" that allowed him to remove the firm's state court case against him to federal court after he filed a motion to dismiss.

  • June 04, 2024

    Chief Justice's Leadership Is Falling Short, Schumer Says

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Tuesday criticized U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts for what he sees as lackluster efforts to address ethical impropriety among high court members.

  • June 04, 2024

    J&J Owes $260M To Ore. Talc Mesothelioma Patient, Jury Says

    An Oregon state jury has ruled that Johnson & Johnson owes $260 million to a woman who said she developed mesothelioma from breathing in asbestos during daily talcum powder use.

  • June 04, 2024

    Franchise Co. Faces Sanctions For 'Frivolous' 7th Circ. Appeal

    The Seventh Circuit has upheld a district court's order that restaurant franchise company Sun Holdings Inc. must pay insurer American Zurich a roughly $1.1 million arbitration award plus interest and attorney fees in a dispute over a workers' compensation policy, and ordered Sun Holdings to show cause for why further sanctions aren't warranted for a "frivolous appeal."

  • June 04, 2024

    Northrop Fights Retirees' 9th Circ. Bid For New Judge

    Northrop Grumman has asked the Ninth Circuit to keep a proposed ERISA class action in U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II's courtroom, arguing it would be inappropriate to accept the retirees' bid to move the case before a different judge after two appellate court panels overturned Judge Wright's previous dismissals in the matter.

  • June 04, 2024

    Tax Law Firm Can't Kick Ex-Clients' Class Suit To Arbitration

    Former clients of a Florida-based tax law firm who live in Wisconsin can move forward with their proposed class action accusing the firm of malpractice and charging illegal fees, a Wisconsin federal judge ruled Tuesday, rejecting the firm's requests to toss the suit or move it to arbitration.

  • June 04, 2024

    Netflix Settles Central Park 5 Defamation Case Ahead Of Trial

    Netflix has settled a lawsuit alleging one of its docuseries defamed a Manhattan prosecutor who was involved in the Central Park Five case, agreeing Tuesday to donate $1 million to a nonprofit dedicated to preventing wrongful convictions.

  • June 04, 2024

    Garland Defends DOJ Integrity, Demurs On Justices' Ethics

    Attorney General Merrick Garland on Tuesday defended the Department of Justice's independence, deflecting questions about ethics scandals at the U.S. Supreme Court and rejecting Donald Trump's "conspiracy theory" that federal prosecutors were the real force behind his recent conviction.

  • June 04, 2024

    County Says Exec Can't Pin Firing On Lawyer Bashing

    A fired county executive's letter calling the county's legal counsel incompetent was sent as part of his official job duties, a Michigan county said Monday, arguing that the comments were not protected speech and can't give rise to a retaliation claim.

  • June 04, 2024

    Jury Still Deadlocked Over Carhartt Atty's Embezzlement Trial

    A Detroit-area jury remained deadlocked Tuesday as it deliberated for the second day on embezzlement charges against a Michigan attorney who is accused of stealing millions from Carhartt heiress Gretchen Valade when he was trustee of her irrevocable trust.

  • June 04, 2024

    Clinton Says Dismissal Of Trump's RICO Suit Was Warranted

    Hillary Clinton and members of the Democratic National Committee urged the Eleventh Circuit not to revive Donald Trump's suit alleging they conspired to push false claims of Russian election interference in 2016, arguing that the dismissal and resulting sanctions for pursuing the frivolous suit should be kept in place.

  • June 04, 2024

    Liberty Mutual Wants NJ Judge Removed From Accident Case

    Liberty Mutual urged a New Jersey federal judge to recuse himself from a construction accident coverage case Monday arguing that he failed to disclose at the beginning of litigation that he holds multiple policies with the insurer dating back to 1980 and was previously investigated over a missing jewelry claim.

  • June 04, 2024

    Aircraft Engine Co. Aims To Sink Suit Of Its Former Attorney

    An aircraft engine manufacturer sued by its former attorney over what she said was a malicious lawsuit against her for leaving to represent plaintiffs suing the company has asked a federal judge to toss her Dragonetti Act case.

  • June 04, 2024

    Paxton Asks Texas Justices To End Bar's Political 'Lawfare'

    The Texas bar's ethics lawsuit against Attorney General Ken Paxton over his challenge to the 2020 presidential election violates the state constitution's separation of powers and is barred by sovereign immunity, Paxton told the state Supreme Court on Tuesday, calling the case "politically motivated lawfare" in an announcement.

  • June 04, 2024

    Mondelez, BCLP Must Face Negligence Claims Over 2023 Breach

    An Illinois federal judge has trimmed the majority of claims in proposed data privacy class actions brought by Mondelez workers against their employer and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP stemming from a 2023 data breach, although the company and law firm couldn't shake the cases entirely. 

  • June 04, 2024

    Buchanan Ingersoll Denies Deceit Over Harrisburg Incinerator

    Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC didn't give Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, bad advice when it set up a debt deal that allowed construction to continue on a controversial incinerator project that sent the state capital into financial distress, an attorney for the firm told the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Tuesday.

  • June 04, 2024

    Baldwin Prosecutors Seek Immunity For Armorer's Testimony

    New Mexico state prosecutors asked a judge Monday to grant immunity to a convicted "Rust" film armorer in a bid to compel her to take the stand during actor-producer Alec Baldwin's upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial in the on-set shooting death of a cinematographer.

  • June 04, 2024

    Houston IP Firm Settles Trade Secrets Case With Ex-Law Clerk

    Houston-based intellectual property law firm Lloyd & Mousilli PLLC and a former law clerk accused of stealing confidential information while working virtually from California reached a settlement in a lawsuit brought by the firm in a Texas federal court.

  • June 03, 2024

    Colo. Defendants Must Show Real Need To Make DAs Testify

    The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday ruled that criminal defendants must have a "compelling and legitimate need" for forcing their prosecutor to testify, concluding that a trial court judge in Boulder County was wrong to force such testimony in an assault case.

  • June 03, 2024

    5th Circ. Mulls Acts Vs. Belief In Anti-Abortion Worker's Firing

    The Fifth Circuit on Monday seemed torn over whether it should "split hairs" between religious conduct and religious belief as it weighed whether to uphold a Southwest flight attendant's win in a wrongful termination suit over graphic anti-abortion messages she sent her union president.

Expert Analysis

  • Twitter Legal Fees Suit Offers Crash Course In Billing Ethics

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    X Corp.'s suit alleging that Wachtell grossly inflated its fees in the final days of Elon Musk’s Twitter acquisition provides a case study in how firms should protect their reputations by hewing to ethical billing practices and the high standards for professional conduct that govern attorney-client relationships, says Lourdes Fuentes at Karta Legal.

  • ABA's Money-Laundering Resolution Is A Balancing Act

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    While the American Bar Association’s recently passed resolution recognizes a lawyer's duty to discontinue representation that could facilitate money laundering and other fraudulent activity, it preserves, at least for now, the delicate balance of judicial, state-based regulation of the legal profession and the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship, say attorneys at Ballard Spahr.

  • Law Firm Professional Development Steps To Thrive In AI Era

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    As generative artificial intelligence tools rapidly evolve, professional development leaders are instrumental in preparing law firms for the paradigm shifts ahead, and should consider three strategies to help empower legal talent with the skills required to succeed in an increasingly complex technological landscape, say Steve Gluckman and Anusia Gillespie at SkillBurst Interactive.

  • Nev. Insurance Law May Mean Turmoil In Liability Market

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    Nevada's new law prohibiting insurers from issuing or renewing defense-within-limits liability policies in the state could cause professional liability insurers to withdraw certain products or prohibitively increase premiums — and while an emergency regulation allows for exceptions, the situation remains fluid, says Joshua Leach at Atheria Law.

  • Lessons From High-Profile Witness Tampering Allegations

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    As demonstrated by recent developments in the cases against former President Donald Trump and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, allegations of witness tampering can carry serious consequences — but attorneys can employ certain strategies to mitigate the risk that accusations arise, says Kenneth Notter at MoloLamken.

  • Covington Ruling Strengthens SEC's Enforcement Powers

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    A Washington, D.C., federal court’s recent order that Covington & Burling provide the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with the identities of its clients in response to a subpoena reinforces the agency’s broad authority to investigate cybersecurity violations, and suggests law firms must take steps to strengthen data privacy, say Elisha Kobre and Ryan Dean at Bradley Arant.

  • 'Blind Side' Family Case Is A Cautionary Tale For Attorneys

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    Former NFL player Michael Oher's recent allegations against Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy that they never legally adopted him and tricked him into conservatorship — which paint a very different picture than the 2009 film "The Blind Side" — demonstrate the importance of attorney due diligence and safeguards against abuse of process, says Roland Weekley at Smith Gambrell.

  • The Basics Of Being A Knowledge Management Attorney

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Michael Lehet at Ogletree Deakins discusses the role of knowledge management attorneys at law firms, the common tasks they perform and practical tips for lawyers who may be considering becoming one.

  • 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.

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