Legal Ethics

  • January 24, 2020

    Medical Malpractice Firm Can't Escape Suit Over Payments

    A New York state appellate court is reviving accusations against a medical malpractice firm that it paid out an award to a client’s creditors, rather than the client itself, saying that a lower court was wrong to throw out the claim.

  • January 24, 2020

    DC Bar Launches Study Of Nonlawyer Firm Ownership

    The D.C. bar is joining the ranks of jurisdictions considering rule changes that would allow nonlawyers to own firms, according to an announcement on Thursday.

  • January 24, 2020

    Genova Burns Must Face Malpractice Suit Over Ex-NJ Pol

    Genova Burns LLC on Friday could not escape a suit from the one-time running mate of a convicted ex-mayor and former firm lawyer over his handling of campaign finance reports after a New Jersey state judge refused to toss malpractice claims against the firm and the disgraced politician.

  • January 24, 2020

    Dems Say Trump Atty Undercuts DOJ Case In Subpoena Fight

    House Democrats said late Thursday that comments made by an attorney for President Donald Trump during the Senate impeachment trial this week contradict the administration's arguments in two separation-of-powers cases pending in the D.C. Circuit, including a request for testimony from former White House counsel Don McGahn, and undercut the White House's position in the litigation.  

  • January 23, 2020

    Ex-Trump Counsel Battling Subpoena Says Clients Call Shots

    Former White House counsel Don McGahn told a New Jersey audience Thursday that it’s the client, not the attorney, who decides if a lawyer will testify in a legal matter, giving insight into his fight to kill a subpoena connected to the impeachment trial underway.

  • January 23, 2020

    Katten, Recruiter Settle Dallas Placement Fee Dispute

    Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP has settled claims with Los Angeles-based legal recruiting firm Kossoris Search Inc. in a dispute over Katten's alleged failure to pay a placement fee after hiring a group of partners Kossoris identified to launch a new Dallas office, court records show.

  • January 23, 2020

    Attys Doomed Shot At $1.26M Tax Credit, Metal Co. Claims

    A Chicago-based metal coating company has claimed in Illinois state court that two attorneys ruined its chance to receive $1.26 million in state tax credits for an expansion project by misrepresenting the status of its application.

  • January 23, 2020

    Breaking Down Michael Avenatti's Nike Extortion Trial

    Once plastered all over cable news screens, Michael Avenatti will soon be making his first of several planned appearances before a different audience: federal jurors. The embattled attorney and former Trump sparring partner will be facing an uphill battle next week in New York as he fights charges that he tried to extort millions of dollars from Nike.

  • January 23, 2020

    California Bar Mulls Licensing Nonlawyer Professionals

    California State Bar leaders took another step Thursday toward opening up the regulation of legal services in the state, launching the assembly of a task force to explore a licensing scheme under which paraprofessionals would provide certain legal services and advice to consumers.

  • January 23, 2020

    Law360's The Week In Discipline

    Two Ohio lawyers who put the squeeze on a grieving father for a $1 million fee they didn't earn and a Rhode Island attorney who collected his dead client's pension lead Law360's The Week in Discipline, which compiles sanctions and conduct charges that may have flown under the radar.  

  • January 23, 2020

    Baker Donelson Hit With $1.8M Malpractice Suit By Logger

    Baker Donelson engaged in malpractice by failing to make a sworn statement that cost a Pennsylvania logging company a case in Louisiana federal court, and then trying to conceal its mistake, the company is alleging in a $1.85 million lawsuit.

  • January 23, 2020

    Baker Botts Accused Of Extortion In Atty's $35M RICO Suit

    Baker Botts LLP used “force, threats and intimidation” and violated federal law in attempting to extort $9.6 million from an attorney and his firm through allegations that they were associated with investors under criminal investigation, the lawyer is claiming in New York federal court.

  • January 23, 2020

    Immigration Attys Tell Justices Law Criminalizes Good Advice

    Giving accurate and ethical legal advice should not be a crime, immigration attorneys have told the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging a statute that makes it a felony to encourage unauthorized immigrants to remain in the country.

  • January 22, 2020

    Feds Can't Keep Trump, Porn Star Out Of Avenatti Nike Trial

    A New York federal judge on Wednesday refused to bar the mention of adult film actress Stormy Daniels' hush money dispute with President Donald Trump from the trial of embattled celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti over an alleged plot to extort millions of dollars from Nike Inc., and ordered the proceeding to commence on Monday.

  • January 22, 2020

    Judge Memberships Warning Has Some Questioning Its Scope

    A plan to ban federal judges from membership in the Federalist Society and its left-leaning counterpart appeared Wednesday to have few fans in the legal community, with some decrying the guidance as too strict and others calling an allowance for American Bar Association membership wrong-headed.

  • January 22, 2020

    Judge Says Bickering Attys Must Shape Up In Airline Spat

    An Illinois federal judge said constant bickering between attorneys for United Airlines Inc., a passenger suing the company over delays and a Russian interpreter all involved in an ill-fated deposition is “a poster child” of the kind of discovery problems that plague federal courts.

  • January 22, 2020

    7th Circ. Sets Fee Penalty For Atty Who Filed 'Monstrosity'

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday set the legal fees that an attorney must shell out to his adversaries as punishment for allowing a client to compose a "monstrosity of an appellate brief" on the lawyer's behalf.

  • January 22, 2020

    Snell & Wilmer Fights DQ Bid In EB-5 Project Suit

    Snell & Wilmer LLP fired back at a bid to boot it from representing entities alleged to be at odds with each other in a suit from Chinese investors seeking to recoup money they sank into a condo project as part of the EB-5 visa program, saying there’s no basis for disqualification.

  • January 22, 2020

    Spending Addiction Diagnosis Gets Power Broker Lesser Term

    A New Jersey federal judge sentenced Gilmore & Monahan PA name partner and onetime Republican power broker George Gilmore to a year and a day in prison for payroll tax violations and a falsified bank loan application, saying Wednesday that his psychological troubles warranted a shorter sentence than the government sought.

  • January 22, 2020

    BofA Slams Bid To DQ Goodwin Procter In Lending Bias Suit

    Bank of America has pushed back against an effort by Cook County, Illinois, to disqualify Goodwin Procter LLP from a suit accusing the banking giant of engaging in racially discriminatory lending practices, saying the county’s framing of the facts is “misleading.”

  • January 22, 2020

    No Sanctions For Billionaire's Antics In Sex Battery Trial

    A California judge declined Wednesday to sanction billionaire Alki David in the wake of a deadlocked jury trial on a former employee's sexual battery claims, rejecting the worker's argument that over 100 “undisputed” incidents of misconduct by the billionaire entrepreneur, including smoking marijuana during a deposition, deprived her of a fair trial.

  • January 21, 2020

    Ousted Grammy Prez Says BigLaw Atty Sexually Harassed Her

    The head of the Recording Academy accused the Grammy-hosting organization Tuesday of placing her on leave in retaliation for exposing a number of problems stemming from its "boys club mentality," including sexual harassment from a well-known Greenberg Traurig attorney retained as its general counsel.

  • January 21, 2020

    Greenberg Partner Can't Stick Defense Atty With $328K Bill

    A Greenberg Traurig partner in Phoenix who sued his longtime attorney for not trying to recoup from the law firm or its malpractice insurer the $328,000 he spent defending a civil fraud suit lost his bid Tuesday to revive his case.

  • January 21, 2020

    Ex-Mithril Fund GC Demands Firm Stop Its 'Three-Front War'

    Former venture capital fund general counsel and ex-actress Crystal McKellar sought an injunction in California federal court Friday barring Mithril Capital Management lP, its manager and an affiliate from suing her outside of the Golden State, saying that actions in Texas and Delaware are retaliatory and violate California employment law.

  • January 21, 2020

    ABA Membership Could Call Judges' Objectivity Into Question

    Federal judges should tread carefully when thinking about renewing their membership in the American Bar Association, considering whether their involvement could lead to any doubt about their impartiality, while membership in groups like the Federalist Society is completely off limits, according to a new draft on judicial ethics guidance.

Expert Analysis

  • ABA Rules For Departing Attys Set Unprecedented Limits

    Author Photo

    Groundbreaking rules from the American Bar Association impose new standards on how law firms can govern departing lawyers’ contact with clients, placing major restrictions on this ubiquitous practice, say Amy Richardson and Hilary Gerzhoy at Harris Wiltshire.

  • Nissan Ex-CEO Illustrates Do's And Don'ts Of Image Repair

    Author Photo

    Lawyers can draw a number of useful lessons about reputation management from the efforts of former Nissan executive Carlos Ghosn — who recently escaped house arrest in Tokyo — to restore his sullied reputation, says Elizabeth Ortega at ECO Strategic Communications.

  • 3 Concerns If Your Witness Becomes Flippant At Deposition

    Author Photo

    In light of a recent Delaware Supreme Court case in which a litigator was rebuked for failing to control his evasive witness during a deposition, attorneys should consider when they may be held responsible for client misconduct and what to do if a client crosses the line, says Philip Sechler of Robbins Russell.

  • 3 Federal Court Rulings Highlight Key Privilege Lessons

    Author Photo

    Recent decisions from federal courts in Illinois, Delaware and New York illustrate the importance of proactively thinking about attorney-client privilege issues such as proper procedures for conducting a review, how common interest privilege can be invoked and when public relations firm communications are protected, say attorneys at Paul Weiss.

  • FIRREA Remains Potent Civil Fraud Enforcement Tool

    Author Photo

    Last year, three court decisions addressing the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act's civil monetary penalties provision — two at the final judgment stage and one at the pleadings stage — expanded FIRREA jurisprudence and remind us why this statute cannot be ignored, say attorneys at Morgan Lewis.

  • How Associate Life Has Evolved Over The Past Decade

    Author Photo

    During the last 10 years, the need to embrace change was fundamental for law firms, and that change affected associates in many ways — most, but not all, for the better, says Brad Kaufman, co-president of Greenberg Traurig.

  • Why Reformers Want Disclosure Of 3rd-Party MDL Funding

    Author Photo

    With third-party litigation funding increasingly being used to finance large and prolonged multidistrict litigations, more disclosure of funding agreements may be warranted to address potential biases and distortions of control and decision-making, say attorneys at Duane Morris.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Dyk Reviews 'Democracy And Equality'

    Author Photo

    In their new book "Democracy and Equality: The Enduring Constitutional Vision of the Warren Court," Geoffrey Stone and David Strauss provide valuable context for U.S. Supreme Court decisions under Chief Justice Earl Warren that have profoundly affected the country, but their overly protective attitude sometimes obscures reality, says Federal Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk.

  • Rodeo Ruling Clarifies Atty Conflict Rules In Derivative Suits

    Author Photo

    While the Texas Supreme Court's recent decision not to disqualify Kelly Hart & Hallman's representation of owners of the Billy Bob's Texas rodeo in a dispute over control of the business is noteworthy, its clarification on firms' conflicts of interest in derivative cases is the more important point, says former Texas Court of Appeals Justice Douglas Lang, of Dorsey & Whitney.

  • 7 Insider Tips For Working With In-House Counsel

    Author Photo

    For outside firms wondering how to best support busy in-house lawyers, several practices can help navigate critical legal issues and novel business challenges while strengthening the working relationship, says Virginia Hudson, associate general counsel at Capital One.

  • 50 Years Later, Interpretive Challenges Remain For RICO

    Author Photo

    In the 50 years since the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act was passed, courts' attempts to clarify the statute have had some success, but many interpretive dilemmas remain unresolved, says Randy Gordon of Barnes & Thornburg.

  • 7 Ethics Tips For Lawyers' Pretrial Social Media Use

    Author Photo

    As ethical constraints on pretrial social media use evolve, the American Bar Association's Model Rules and several court opinions provide guidance on avoiding violations when collecting evidence, researching jurors and friending judges, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Mark Davis at Harris Wiltshire.

  • Opinion

    States Should Not Follow ABA On Attorney Conduct Rules

    Author Photo

    Because the American Bar Association's new rule on diversity continues to use the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as a cultural bludgeon, states should create independent codes limited to constitutionally valid purposes of attorney regulation, says Bradley Abramson of Alliance Defending Freedom.

  • How Courts And Litigants Can Benefit From Special Masters

    Author Photo

    As we approach the first anniversary of the American Bar Association's adoption of guidelines for the appointment and use of special masters in civil litigation, retired U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin, now at Stroock, explains how special masters can help parties and courts with faster decision-making and subject matter expertise.

  • Uber Policy Calls For Refresher On ABA Confidentiality Rules

    Author Photo

    Uber's recent policy update allowing drivers to audio-record passenger rides is a reminder for lawyers to observe the highest standard of care in protecting client information under the American Bar Association's confidentiality model rule, says Paul Boehm at Williams & Connolly.