Legal Ethics

  • June 30, 2020

    DC Bar OKs Cryptocurrency Payments For Legal Fees

    The District of Columbia Bar has given lawyers the green light to accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for legal services, although the body's ethics opinion said attorneys should take care to ensure the arrangements are fair and that the payments are secure.

  • June 30, 2020

    Full Fed. Circ. Won't Rethink Patent Ax For Dishonesty

    The full Federal Circuit on Tuesday refused to revisit a decision that Cantor Colburn LLP attorneys' deception at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rendered their client's ethanol patents unenforceable, a ruling that has concerned intellectual property ethics experts.

  • June 30, 2020

    Ex-Judge Accused Of Being Drunk On Job Must Beef Up Suit

    A former Newark municipal judge must file a revised suit if she wants to pursue allegations that she was wrongfully fired and discriminated against amid false accusations of being drunk on the job, a New Jersey federal court ruled.

  • June 30, 2020

    Offit Kurman's Forum Argument Gets Malpractice Suit Tossed

    Offit Kurman PA on Tuesday ducked a malpractice suit in Texas federal court in which a Houston-based online furniture store sought over $1 million for alleged bill padding and double-billing, after a judge held the store's owner had agreed any dispute would be litigated in Delaware.

  • June 30, 2020

    6th Circ. To Hear GM's Bid To Oust Judge In RICO Bribes Fight

    The Sixth Circuit has agreed to consider General Motors' request to remove a Michigan judge who abruptly ordered its CEO to negotiate an end to GM's allegations that Fiat Chrysler bribed senior auto workers union officials to corrupt the collective bargaining process and disadvantage rival carmakers.

  • June 30, 2020

    Pa. Judge Accused Of Lewd Remarks, Interactions With Staff

    A Pennsylvania judge is facing disciplinary proceedings after court staff complained the judge had repeatedly made sexually themed remarks and engaged in other lewd and unwanted behavior, such as sitting on one staff member's lap and feigning unwanted touching of another.

  • June 30, 2020

    Texas Panel Overturns Misrepresentation Verdict Against Atty

    A Texas appeals court has tossed a negligent misrepresentation verdict against an attorney accused of convincing a nonclient to sign a property transfer document under false pretenses, finding there was no evidence to support the jury's finding.

  • June 30, 2020

    Halkbank Case May Be A Slog In The COVID-19 Age

    An attorney for Turkey's state-owned Halkbank on Tuesday told a New York federal judge it didn't envision being ready for trial over an alleged multibillion-dollar scheme to evade American sanctions targeting Iran until the spring of 2022, citing the difficulties brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • June 30, 2020

    Pierce Firm Must Face Claims Over Client Switch, Atty Says

    A lawyer who lost his bid to collect on a settlement deal he said he struck with Pierce Bainbridge over representing a client in a case involving the video game "Gears of War" wants a Pennsylvania federal court not to toss his latest suit against the firm, arguing the two cases are different.

  • June 30, 2020

    Pharmacies Urge 6th Circ. To Boot Opioid MDL Judge

    CVS Health Corp., Walgreen Co. and other major pharmacy chains asked the Sixth Circuit on Tuesday to disqualify the Ohio federal judge supervising multidistrict opioid litigation, accusing him of exhibiting blatant bias by "directing plaintiffs' trial strategy."

  • June 30, 2020

    Bainbridge Of Pierce Bainbridge Sets Up Own Firm In Calif.

    James Bainbridge, the last remaining name partner at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP besides founder John Pierce, has set up his own law office in California but will remain affiliated with the struggling firm.

  • June 30, 2020

    Sedgwick Trustee Files Suit Over Unpaid Legal Fees

    Defunct law firm Sedgwick LLP has accused the Los Angeles Unified School District, two California companies, and a private individual of failing to pay up a combined $675,000 for legal services the firm provided, plus interest.

  • June 29, 2020

    Calif. District Chief Cedes Role After 'Street-Smart' Remark

    Chief Judge of the Central District of California Cormac J. Carney has left that role but will remain on the bench in the district after acknowledging that he'd made an "insensitive" statement to a Black clerk of the court, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

  • June 29, 2020

    Atty Says Founders Left Online Legal Marketplace In Ruins

    An attorney with an ownership stake in the online legal platform UpCounsel Inc. filed a derivative suit Saturday in Delaware Chancery Court against the company's founders, asserting they stripped the company of value and left it in shambles before bolting to take jobs at LinkedIn.

  • June 29, 2020

    Chinese Investor Sues Grocery GC Over Soured EB-5 Bid

    A New York attorney — and the grocery store and subsidiary that he represents — were hit with a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court accusing the lawyer of tricking a Chinese investor into shelling out cash into the company for an EB-5 visa that never came to fruition.

  • June 29, 2020

    Judge Explains Partial Denial Of Roger Stone Prison Delay Bid

    A D.C. federal judge on Monday unsealed the full version of her decision last week to give Roger Stone an extra two weeks to report to prison while denying the longtime conservative operative's request to extend the surrender date even further to September.

  • June 29, 2020

    Napster Knocks 'Wildly Inflated' Fee Bid By Songwriters' Attys

    The company behind Napster has urged a California federal judge to reject a "wildly inflated" request for $6.1 million in attorney fees lodged by songwriters as part of a settlement aiming to end claims that Napster failed to pay millions in so-called mechanical royalties.

  • June 29, 2020

    Berger Montague Battles Oxman To Control InventHelp Suits

    Berger Montague PC accused Oxman Law Group of making baseless and disparaging accusations about the firm in an underhanded bid to control a pair of fraud cases against invention marketing service InventHelp as the two firms fight over who should serve as lead counsel for the cases in Pennsylvania federal court.

  • June 29, 2020

    Texas Prosecutor Resigns After Facebook Post About Nazis

    A Houston-area prosecutor resigned Monday after sharing a Facebook post appearing to compare protesters demonstrating against police brutality and racial inequality to Nazis who "banned free speech" and "tore down statues," emails from the Harris County District Attorney's Office show.

  • June 29, 2020

    CrossFit Rival And Insurer Must Wait For Coverage Ruling

    A California federal judge on Monday denied dueling bids for summary judgment by National Strength and Conditioning Association and its insurer, National Casualty Co., in a suit over coverage of NSCA's false ad fight with CrossFit, saying she can't resolve the issue until there's a final judgment on the sanctions that spurred the suit in the first place.

  • June 29, 2020

    St. Louis Injury Attys Point Guns At Protesters Outside Home

    A prominent St. Louis personal injury attorney and his wife, also a partner at his firm, brandished an assault rifle and a handgun while confronting protesters marching outside their home on Sunday, according to photos and videos widely spread on social media.

  • June 29, 2020

    Ethanol Plant Execs Say Seyfarth Shaw Steered Shaky Buyout

    Seyfarth Shaw LLP has been hit with a malpractice claim seeking to hold it liable for underlying claims that several Illinois ethanol plant executives bought out the plant's minority shareholders at too low a price through an unfair process.

  • June 29, 2020

    Pa. High Court Suspends Atty For Misleading Redactions

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed on Monday to suspend for six months a New Jersey-based attorney who it found had attempted to conceal unfavorable evidence in an estate dispute and disobeyed a court order to produce certain financial documents.

  • June 29, 2020

    7th Circ. Won't Revive Time-Barred Legal Malpractice Row

    The Seventh Circuit ruled an Indiana woman waited more than a decade too long before launching malpractice claims against Emswiller Williams Noland & Clarke PC attorneys she said wrongly allowed a trust fund to be dissolved instead of merely changed.

  • June 29, 2020

    Atty Gets No Fees In $30M Yacht Fall Deal, Ill. Panel Says

    An Illinois appellate court has ruled that a Chicago attorney who jeopardized a former client's $30 million personal injury settlement can't collect a third of the amount as fees, finding that only expenses totaling $281,000 are appropriate in light of his alleged fraud.

Expert Analysis

  • M&A Ruling Shows Importance Of Informing Target Boards

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    In Morrison v. Berry, the Delaware Chancery Court's recent dismissal of stockholder claims that advisers aided and abetted a merger target board’s fiduciary breach is a reminder that financial advisers, law firms and M&A buyers should ensure a target board is fully informed, say attorneys at Cleary.

  • 11 Keys To Success At Remote Mediation

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    Attorneys should accept that remote mediation may be their only current option for resolving a dispute and take steps to obtain a fantastic outcome for their clients, including making sure the right people attend the remote mediation and beginning the session with an apology, says Eric Meyer at FisherBroyles.

  • Pandemic Could Bring Student Exodus From Legal Profession

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    A recent survey shows that law and prelaw students have serious concerns about the quality and value of remotely provided legal education, and rapid action from the legal community is necessary to prevent promising young people from leaving in favor of other professions, says Mehran Ebadolahi at TestMax.

  • The Privilege Implications Of Using Online Collaboration Tools

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    While few courts have addressed the attorney-client privilege or work-product doctrine in the context of online collaboration tools, existing case law supports five best practices as organizations increasingly use these tools in the COVID-19 era, say Christopher Campbell and Marcus Sandifer at DLA Piper.

  • Confronting Mental Distress In The Legal Profession

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    Even before the pandemic, troubling data about mental distress among lawyers pointed to a profession in crisis, but addressing the challenge requires a better understanding of the causes, says Jonathan Prokup at Cigna Corp.

  • Opinion

    Litigation Finance Investments Are Not Risk-Free Loans

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    The Ninth Circuit's certification order last week in Fast Trak v. Sax presents an important opportunity for the New York high court to affirm the consensus among courts — litigation finance transactions are not loans subject to usury laws, say Wendie Childress and William Marra at Validity Finance.

  • Opinion

    How White Privilege Helped Me Succeed In BigLaw

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    The white, male power structure has eased the path for lawyers like me for far too long, and we should now be responsible for dismantling this systemic bias within the legal industry, says Scott McLaughlin at Eversheds Sutherland.

  • Keys To A Thriving Biz Development Culture At Your Law Firm

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    As law firms continue to experience the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, it is more important than ever that they reduce reliance on just a few rainmakers and foster a culture that makes business development a way of life for everyone — from junior associates to senior partners, says Elise Holtzman at The Lawyer's Edge.

  • How Video Mediation Can Help Us Serve Clients Better

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    Mediation in recent years has largely devolved into a kind of arbitration without due process — where a mediator reads briefs, decides where the case should settle, and drives parties toward that single-minded result — but online mediation can be steered in a different direction, says mediator Jeff Kichaven.

  • Mental Health Efforts Will Support Diversity In Legal Industry

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    The stigma of discussing mental health struggles during these tough times is especially profound for attorneys of racial and ethnic minorities, but law firms and in-house departments can change the narrative, says Patricia Silva at Lathrop.

  • Civility Could Be Litigators' New Normal Even Post-Pandemic

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    The past few months of lockdown have given rise to some profound patterns — litigators are more cooperative and less adversarial — and as the activities of courts and tribunals resume, lawyers should consider continuing to devote more time and resources to resolving disputes instead of fighting them out, says Matthew Vafidis at Holland & Knight.

  • Law Firms Must Beware Risks In Nontraditional Financing

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    Law firms in today's financial crisis may be looking at nontraditional arrangements such as portfolio funding or factoring to provide liquidity and cash support, but firms must first consider lawsuits brought against Pierce Bainbridge and other recent developments, says Katherine Toomey at Lewis Baach.

  • 2 Tested Alternatives To Unavoidable Court Delays

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    Those seeking resolution in commercial disputes that are stuck in an unavoidable but lengthy court backlog due to the pandemic must consider the advantages of arbitration and mediation over court proceedings, says former U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin now at Stroock.

  • Opinion

    Minn. Ruling Represents Sensible Stance On Legal Finance

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    The Minnesota Supreme Court's Maslowski v. Prospect Funding Partners decision this week reaffirms that the doctrine of champerty is archaic, impedes important litigation finance activity, and should be abolished in the handful of states where it remains alive, says Andrew Cohen at Burford Capital.

  • Best Practices For A Paperless Law Practice

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    A significant challenge in practicing law remotely is the use and handling of documents without paper, because common digital tools such as email or even secure file transfer applications are problematic, say attorneys at Baker McKenzie.

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