Legal Ethics

  • July 17, 2020

    Judge Doubts Independence Of WilmerHale's U. Mich. Probe

    A Michigan federal judge on Friday questioned the independence of a WilmerHale-led investigation into hundreds of sexual assault allegations against a former University of Michigan sports doctor, and weighed whether the firm and the university's president should address concerns before the court that they're circumventing the legal process.

  • July 17, 2020

    Union Defends Move To Stop Olin From Firing Employee

    A union has told an Illinois federal court that Olin Corp. was just frustrated with an arbitrator's refusal to let the company fire an employee after an altercation because there was no just cause to do so, arguing that the disagreement is no reason to overturn the result.

  • July 17, 2020

    Measure To Split Pa. Court Seats Seen As Political Play

    A recently advanced measure to divide seats on Pennsylvania's three statewide appellate courts between new elective districts would cast a political pall over decision-making and undermine foundational concepts of judicial independence, attorneys and legal scholars have told Law360.

  • July 17, 2020

    BakerHostetler Can't Ax Suit Over Ex-Clients' Illegal Gains

    A Pennsylvania state court judge has declined to nix a suit accusing BakerHostetler LLP of giving executives with Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc. bad advice on complying with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules.

  • July 17, 2020

    Atty Denies Trying To Intimidate Flight Attendant Witness

    An attorney representing a fired flight attendant in a dispute with Southwest Airlines has hit back against the airline's bid to remove him from the case for allegedly trying to use a process server to intimidate a witness, telling the court the service was proper and the sanctions motion was the true intimidation tactic.

  • July 17, 2020

    Fla. Court Tosses $22M Judgment In Homebuyer Fraud Scam

    A Florida man got a $22.8 million restitution judgment against him reversed Friday, successfully arguing that it was imposed because of ineffective counsel after he was convicted of collecting deposits from hundreds of homebuyers but not building any homes.

  • July 17, 2020

    Texas Atty Can't Change Venue In Expert Witness Fee Suit

    A personal injury attorney accused of not paying his expert witness for work on insurance lawsuits over hurricane damage can't move the dispute to the county where he used to operate a law office, a Texas appellate court has ruled.

  • July 17, 2020

    Sanctions Verdict Nixed After Feds' Conduct Questioned

    A New York federal judge on Friday vacated the guilty verdict of an Iranian businessman accused of violating U.S. sanctions and axed the indictment against him, citing no opposition from prosecutors who've acknowledged disclosure and evidence issues in the case.

  • July 17, 2020

    Exonerated Former Boston City Hall Aide Loses $500K Fee Bid

    A federal judge on Friday shot down a bid by a former Boston City Hall aide to recoup more than a half-million dollars in legal fees after his conviction on charges he extorted a music festival into hiring unneeded union labor was thrown out.

  • July 17, 2020

    Mich. Atty Suspended For Missing Hearing With Virus Excuse

    The Michigan Attorney Discipline Board has ordered an indefinite interim suspension for an attorney who did not appear at a virtual hearing after telling the board he was suffering from health problems associated with COVID-19.

  • July 17, 2020

    Clifford Chance Atty Criticized Over Oligarch Prison Bid

    A London judge on Friday dismissed claims that Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska breached a court order tied to a $95 million arbitration award, in a ruling that criticized a Clifford Chance attorney who represented Deripaska's former business associate for lacking objectivity.

  • July 17, 2020

    Colo. Atty Accused Of Losing $3.1M Meant For Bitcoin Buy

    A Colorado attorney hired to handle a $3.1 million bitcoin investment bungled the transaction and transferred the funds without receiving the bitcoin in exchange, Florida-based financial services firm One Trade Ltd. alleged in a complaint filed Thursday.

  • July 16, 2020

    Grand Jury Pool In Molotov Case Was Skewed, Defenders Say

    Court records show Black people were underrepresented in the grand jury pool from which 23 New Yorkers were picked to hear evidence and ultimately indict two attorneys accused of firebombing an NYPD car and other cases, federal defenders say, after two Brooklyn federal judges ordered the release of the demographic details.

  • July 16, 2020

    LA Judge Will Mull Claims Of Racism Against Receiver

    A Los Angeles judge has said he would consider allegations from one of two feuding brothers that a receiver appointed to oversee an asset sale for their Los Angeles billboard company demonstrated racism against people connected to the company and should be removed.

  • July 16, 2020

    Calif. Lowers Bar Exam Pass Score And Delays Test To Oct.

    The California Supreme Court said Thursday that it would permanently lower the passing score for the California Bar Exam and unveiled plans for the test to be administered online in October, according to a letter addressed to State Bar of California trustees.

  • July 16, 2020

    Robinhood Users Tweak Counsel Bid To Add Female Attys

    Two law firms hoping to lead a securities action against stock trading application Robinhood have reconfigured their class counsel proposal after a California federal judge rejected their initial bid for including only men.

  • July 16, 2020

    Judge Exits Suit Against Disney Because Of Her Park Pass

    A Florida federal judge has recused herself from a proposed class action against a Walt Disney Company subsidiary because the judge has an annual pass to a Disney theme park, making her a potential class member in the suit alleging pass holders were overcharged.

  • July 16, 2020

    7th Circ. Revives VA Worker's Suit Over Delayed Van Request

    The Seventh Circuit on Thursday revived a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs employee's claim that the agency unreasonably delayed its response to his disability accommodation request for a new van, but upheld the dismissal of claims that the VA's delay constituted race and gender discrimination.

  • July 16, 2020

    Judge Advises Reporters Be Cut From Ex-Fox Pundit's Suit

    Anderson Cooper, Vox Media Inc. and a New York Times reporter should be released from a former Fox News guest commentator's defamation lawsuit, a Texas federal judge recommended Thursday, finding the court doesn't have jurisdiction over the defendants.

  • July 16, 2020

    NY Firm Says CFPB Is 'Frankenstein's Monster' To Be Stopped

    A New York law firm battling a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau investigative demand told a federal judge the agency remains unconstitutionally structured after its recent trip to the U.S. Supreme Court and is now a "Frankenstein's monster" that should not be allowed to continue terrorizing the firm.

  • July 16, 2020

    Philly Jurors To Hear Little On BigLaw Real Estate Settlements

    Jurors in an upcoming trial can't hear details about Cozen O'Connor's and Blank Rome's settlements linked to claims that a former lawyer induced tens of millions of dollars in investments by helping advertise a large downtown Philadelphia lot as a multi-skyscraper development opportunity, but will learn that the settlements occurred, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled Thursday.

  • July 16, 2020

    6th Circ. Again Refuses To Boot Judge From Opioid MDL

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday shot down a second bid to disqualify an Ohio federal judge from overseeing the opioid multidistrict litigation after CVS Pharmacy Inc. and other national pharmacy chains accused him of blatant bias.

  • July 16, 2020

    School Board Wants To Teach Atty Lesson About Conflicts

    A New Jersey school board wants to disqualify a lawyer from representing two school administrators who sought the same positions and are slated for dueling depositions.

  • July 15, 2020

    Turkish Bank Wants Judge Off Sanctions Case Over Remarks

    Turkey's Halkbank asked a Manhattan federal judge to recuse himself from handling the case alleging the bank violated U.S. sanctions on Iran, saying his past remarks suggest he already thinks the bank is guilty.

  • July 15, 2020

    ABA Defends Ban On Atty Bias From Free Speech Claims

    The American Bar Association on Wednesday defended a professional conduct rule prohibiting harassment and discrimination by attorneys from accusations it tramples on lawyers' First Amendment rights, saying in an opinion that the 2016 policy "does not prevent a lawyer from freely expressing opinions and ideas on matters of public concern."

Expert Analysis

  • Remote Depositions: Coming To A Home Office Near You

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    Recent Texas state court orders indicate judges are increasingly requiring parties and nonparties to submit to remote depositions amid the pandemic. However, there are inherent drawbacks to such depositions, including limitations on attorneys’ ability to assess witness credibility, says Edward Duffy at Reed Smith.

  • Ways Lawyers Can Support The Most Vulnerable Right Now

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    In this global health and economic crisis, it is essential that lawyers recommit to inclusion, and fight for colleagues, clients, community members and friends who are most at risk, says Dru Levasseur, head of the National LGBT Bar Association's inclusion coaching and consulting program.

  • Confronting The Challenges Of Virtual Mediation

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    Conducting mediation via videoconference amid the ongoing pandemic poses significant challenges, including the difficulty of reading people when you are not with them in person. Daniel Garrie at JAMS shares six tips to overcome the limitations.

  • 3 Steps To Building Effective Teams While On Lockdown

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    When your team is working from different locations due to the COVID-19 outbreak, don’t default to just sending emails. Collaboration is much easier when team members are also communicating in real time over the phone or through videoconferences, say William Oxley and Meghan Rohling Kelly at BakerHostetler.

  • Client Advocacy Tips For Remote Hearings During COVID-19

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    As the judiciary implements telephone and video hearings in response to the coronavirus pandemic, attorneys can deliver effective advocacy by following certain best practices, such as using backup materials and specially preparing witnesses and exhibits, say attorneys at Fish & Richardson.

  • How To Conduct Depositions Remotely

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    Remote depositions are a useful tool for meeting discovery deadlines while allowing all parties to stay at home amid the COVID-19 outbreak. But they come with a unique set of challenges, say Eliot Williams and Daniel Rabinowitz at Baker Botts. 

  • A Guide To Zealously Representing Clients During COVID-19

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    The American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct require lawyers to be zealous advocates for clients' interests, but how do these rules apply in this unprecedented time of COVID-19? Anne Lockner at Robins Kaplan offers some pointers.

  • 7 Ways Attys Can Create The Right Home Office Environment

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    In the midst of this health crisis when lawyers are working from home with their loved ones around all day, practitioners need to ensure their “home” and “office” settings coexist without one trumping the needs of the other, says Luciana Fragali at Design Solutions.

  • 10 E-Discovery Challenges Caused By COVID-19

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    The COVID-19 crisis will continue to affect e-discovery long after we overcome this pandemic. When litigation and investigations reengage and courts start moving their schedules forward, these concerns will need to be addressed, say David Kessler and Andrea D'Ambra at Norton Rose.

  • BigLaw Leaders Must Prepare For COVID-19 Economic Fallout

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    The financial impact of COVID-19 is already starting to ripple through law firms in the form of diminished demand and time entry. A few lessons from the 2008 financial crisis and some new ideas can help firm leaders navigate the storm, says Peter Zeughauser at Zeughauser Group.

  • 3 Ways Leaders Can Improve Remote Work For Lawyers

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    Remote working doesn’t work when people feel they must apologize for or hide it, and lawyers often feel that way — even in unavoidable, disaster-related scenarios like we see with the pandemic today, says David Pierce at Axiom.

  • Tips For Online Mediation In The Age Of Social Distancing

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    While mediating via an internet conferencing platform during the COVID-19 crisis, remember that visual interactions are of vital importance. A simple phrase can be transformed into a sincere inquiry, a shocked response or a sarcastic put-down depending upon how we visually convey that message, says mediator Sidney Kanazawa at ARC.

  • A Work-From-Home Tech Checklist For Law Firms

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    With law firms across the country implementing policies to ensure the safety of attorneys and staff and prevent the spread of coronavirus, Andrew Russell at Shaw Keller shares some tips for firms, particularly smaller firms, that may be transitioning to remote work now or in the coming days.

  • 7 Keys To Keeping Your Firm Inclusive In The Coronavirus Era

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    Many law firms are quickly adopting remote working policies during the coronavirus pandemic to keep their employees safe while providing a high level of client service, but it's also important to continue fostering diversity, equity and inclusion, says Yusuf Zakir, director of diversity and inclusion at Holland & Knight.

  • 10 Ways To Continue Biz Development During Coronavirus

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    As lawyers find their typical interactions with clients, prospects and referral sources abruptly postponed or canceled due to COVID-19, there are sanitary and safe business development and marketing opportunities to consider, says Jonathan Fitzgarrald at Equinox Strategy Partners.

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