Legal Ethics

  • June 07, 2024

    Carhartt Heir's Atty Cleared On 2 Counts; Deadlock On Rest

    A Michigan state jury in Detroit on Friday partially cleared a Michigan attorney accused of stealing millions of dollars from his wealthy client, the late Carhartt company heiress Gretchen Valade, but jurors could not agree on two of four charges.

  • June 07, 2024

    Lewis Brisbois Wants Ex-Partner's Pay Bias Suit In Arbitration

    Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP has asked a Los Angeles court to force arbitration of claims lodged by a former partner in a suit accusing the firm of gender discrimination in pay and retaliation for raising concerns over its "unethical billing practices."

  • June 07, 2024

    Baker Donelson Can't Ax Ponzi Scheme Suit, Receiver Says

    A federal receiver has urged a Mississippi federal judge to reject Baker Donelson's summary judgment bid seeking a pretrial win on civil conspiracy claims the firm allowed a nine-figure timber business Ponzi scheme to unfold,

  • June 07, 2024

    Emboldened SEC Spells Double Trouble For Defense Bar

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement division has taken an increasingly aggressive stance in recent years thanks in part to an influx of federal prosecutors joining the agency and court decisions that have gradually become more permissive on parallel civil and criminal investigations, defense lawyers say.

  • June 06, 2024

    'Any Judge' Should Have DQ'd In Romance Case, Attys Told

    A Texas federal judge was adamant Thursday that a former bankruptcy judge should have recused himself from an engineering company's Chapter 11 proceeding because of his relationship with a then-Jackson Walker LLP partner, but seemed torn over whether a lawsuit from a former shareholder over the secret relationship had a leg to stand on.

  • June 06, 2024

    White Collar Boutique Sued By Ex-Client Over Representation

    White collar boutique Clark Smith Villazor LLP and one of its name partners is facing a lawsuit from a former client, a convicted securities fraud defendant who claims the firm caused him to be arrested by the FBI and face millions of dollars in fines.

  • June 06, 2024

    Roundup MDL Judge Worries Plaintiffs Firms Overstretched

    A California federal judge presiding over multidistrict personal injury litigation over Monsanto's Roundup weed killer expressed concerns Thursday that plaintiffs firms may be taking on "a whole bunch of cases" they don't have the ability to prosecute just to settle "on the cheap," calling the prospect "a little bit disturbing."

  • June 06, 2024

    Media Matters Wants Order Blocking Missouri AG's X Probe

    Media Matters for America returned to D.C. federal court on Thursday to seek a court order barring Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey from investigating the progressive media watchdog over its reporting on X Corp., roughly two months after a D.C. federal judge barred Texas' attorney general from doing the same.

  • June 06, 2024

    In 13-Year Trademark Fight, Chicago Judge Says No More

    A Chicago federal judge brought to a close a trademark fight between two vaping companies surrounding the phrase "21st Century Smoking" that has stretched on for over a decade and led to millions of dollars in sanctions over thousands of deleted emails and long-hidden documents.

  • June 06, 2024

    Election Officials Blasted For Not Stopping Suspended Judge

    A Michigan state judge has said that election officials had abdicated their responsibility to keep "patently ineligible" candidates off the ballot, ordering them to stop former Detroit Judge Kahlilia Davis from running again after the state Supreme Court suspended her for six years for misconduct.

  • June 06, 2024

    Kline & Specter Calls Ex-Client's Suit A 'Sham'

    Kline & Specter PC and its founders have called a suit alleging they retaliated against an ex-client for dropping them to go with former firm associate Tom Bosworth a "sham" and a misuse of legal proceedings.

  • June 06, 2024

    Paxton Blasts Firing Suit Probe As 'Lobbying' Move

    The Texas Attorney General's Office has asked the state's Supreme Court to shut down whistleblowers' attempt to depose Attorney General Ken Paxton and several high-ranking staffers, saying the tactic is designed to persuade lawmakers to fund a judgment in the case when he is not contesting their claims.

  • June 06, 2024

    Some Colo. Justices Call For Nixing Peremptory Strikes

    Three Colorado Supreme Court justices said this week that eliminating peremptory challenges would help remove "the taint of impermissible discrimination" from the jury selection process, writing in two cases involving the dismissal of Black jurors that the strikes often facilitate racism that can be near impossible for a court to address.

  • June 06, 2024

    Fla. Justices Won't Undo DeSantis' Suspension Of Prosecutor

    State prosecutor Monique Worrell lost her bid to be reinstated to her post in the Ninth Judicial Circuit after a split Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Gov. Ron DeSantis' executive order suspending her passed muster.

  • June 06, 2024

    Biote Investors Sue Cooley, SPAC After Huge Merger Loss

    Family trust investors in Biote Corp. have sued Cooley LLP and the "hormone optimization" company's top brass over the $700 million merger Biote completed with a special purpose acquisition company, saying the deal was a "disastrous transaction to divert approximately $70 million of merger consideration to themselves and gain control of an enterprise they did not build."

  • June 06, 2024

    Judge Who Took Israel Trip Recuses Self From Gaza Case

    A Ninth Circuit judge on Thursday recused himself from a case over the Biden administration's support for Israel's military efforts in Gaza, suggesting he disagreed with Palestinian rights activists' claim that a sponsored trip to Israel disqualified him but nevertheless would step aside "out of an abundance of caution."

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • 4 Legal Ethics Considerations For The New Year

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    As attorneys and clients reset for a new year, now is a good time to take a step back and review some core ethical issues that attorneys should keep front of mind in 2024, including approaching generative artificial intelligence with caution and care, and avoiding pitfalls in outside counsel guidelines, say attorneys at HWG.

  • What The Law Firm Of The Future Will Look Like

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    As the legal landscape shifts, it’s become increasingly clear that the BigLaw business model must adapt in four key ways to remain viable, from fostering workplace flexibility to embracing technology, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • 4 PR Pointers When Your Case Is In The News

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    Media coverage of new lawsuits exploded last year, demonstrating why defense attorneys should devise a public relations plan that complements their legal strategy, incorporating several objectives to balance ethical obligations and advocacy, say Nathan Burchfiel at Pinkston and Ryan June at Castañeda + Heidelman.

  • Why Fed. Circ. Affirmed Attorney Fee Award In PersonalWeb

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    A recent Federal Circuit decision to leave a $5.2 million fee award in place in the PersonalWeb patent case underscores district courts' discretion to sanction unreasonable arguments and litigation tactics under the U.S. Code's attorney fee provision, say attorneys at Shearman. 

  • Law Firm Strategies For Successfully Navigating 2024 Trends

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    Though law firms face the dual challenge of external and internal pressures as they enter 2024, firms willing to pivot will be able to stand out by adapting to stakeholder needs and reimagining their infrastructure, says Shireen Hilal at Maior Consultants.

  • The Most-Read Legal Industry Law360 Guest Articles Of 2023

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    A range of legal industry topics drew readers' attention in Law360's Expert Analysis section this year, from associate retention strategies to ethical billing practices.

  • Attorneys' Busiest Times Can Be Business Opportunities

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    Attorneys who resolve to grow their revenue and client base in 2024 should be careful not to abandon their goals when they get too busy with client work, because these periods of zero bandwidth can actually be a catalyst for future growth, says Amy Drysdale at Alchemy Consulting.

  • In The World Of Legal Ethics, 10 Trends To Note From 2023

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    Lucian Pera at Adams and Reese and Trisha Rich at Holland & Knight identify the top legal ethics trends from 2023 — including issues related to hot documents, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — that lawyers should be aware of to put their best foot forward.

  • Opinion

    Animal Rights Are About Saving Nature, And Our Own Future

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    The climate crisis makes it clear that animal law — conceived of as an ecocentric approach to protecting the most vulnerable nonhumans who depend on the natural environment — is essential to restoring the Earth and safeguarding the future of humanity, says Carter Dillard at the Fair Start Movement.

  • The Ethics Of Accepting Advanced Legal Fees In Crypto

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    State and local bar associations have been weighing in on whether attorneys may accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment in advance of providing legal services, but the answer is frequently a fact-specific inquiry that demands close reading of the rules of professional conduct, say Matthew Feinberg and Jeffrey Cunningham at Goldberg Segalla.

  • How Attorneys Can Be More Efficient This Holiday Season

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    Attorneys should consider a few key tips to speed up their work during the holidays so they can join the festivities — from streamlining the document review process to creating similar folder structures, says Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben.

  • 5 Gifts That May Run Afoul Of Government Ethics Rules

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    As the holiday season ramps up, it’s essential to keep in mind that government officials and employees are all subject to specific gift rules, and related violations can lead to consequences far worse than coal in one’s stocking, say Mark Renaud and Rob Walker at Wiley.

  • 3 Defense Takeaways From The Bankman-Fried Trial

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    FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent fraud conviction offers several key lessons for future white collar defendants, from the changing nature of cross-examination to the continued risks of taking the stand, say Jonathan Porter and Gregg Sofer at Husch Blackwell.

  • Series

    Children's Book Writing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Becoming a children's book author has opened doors to incredible new experiences of which I barely dared to dream, but the process has also changed my life by serving as a reminder that strong writing, networking and public speaking skills are hugely beneficial to a legal career, says Shaunna Bailey at Sheppard Mullin.

  • How Clients May Use AI To Monitor Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Artificial intelligence tools will increasingly enable clients to monitor and evaluate their counsel’s activities, so attorneys must clearly define the terms of engagement and likewise take advantage of the efficiencies offered by AI, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

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