Legal Ethics

  • May 14, 2024

    Legal Insurers See 'All-Time High' In Price Tag Of Claims

    Some of the nation's largest legal insurance companies are reporting an unprecedented rise in "claim severity," according to survey data released Tuesday, with 11 of 13 insurers reporting paying claims in excess of $100 million in the past two years.

  • May 14, 2024

    Convicted Fraudster Says Exchanges With Atty Are Privileged

    A convicted fraudster who had his sentence commuted by then-President Donald Trump — now charged with launching another scam shortly after leaving prison — is embroiled in a fight with New Jersey federal prosecutors over his attempt to assert attorney-client privilege for communications with an Israeli attorney who allegedly participated in the scheme.

  • May 14, 2024

    BigLaw Attys Fight Sanctions Over Alleged Judge Shopping

    Attorneys from Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, Cooley LLP, Lightfoot Franklin & White LLC and prominent LGBTQ rights organizations did not engage in judge shopping when walking away from cases challenging an Alabama law banning certain medical procedures for transgender youth, the lawyers have told an Alabama federal court.

  • May 14, 2024

    Ga. Justices Wary Of Gov't Listening To Atty-Client Calls

    The Georgia Supreme Court seemed inclined during oral arguments Tuesday to find that a man convicted of assault had his Sixth Amendment rights violated because a detective and a prosecutor listened to his jailhouse phone calls with his attorney.

  • May 14, 2024

    Jackson Walker Wants Out Of Texas Judge Romance Suit

    Law firm Jackson Walker told a Texas federal court it wants out of a lawsuit accusing it of harming a tug boat company whose case was pending before a bankruptcy judge engaged in a romantic relationship with a firm attorney.

  • May 14, 2024

    Judge Nixes In-House Atty's $7.5M Suit Against Client's Estate

    A Connecticut federal judge has determined the $7.5 million vexatious litigation claims a onetime in-house counsel filed against the estate of a former client were served weeks too late, ending a nearly seven-year-old case.

  • May 14, 2024

    Coverage Recap: Day 13 Of Trump's NY Hush Money Trial

    Law360 reporters are providing live updates from the Manhattan criminal courthouse as Donald Trump goes on trial for allegedly falsifying business records related to hush money payments ahead of the 2016 election. Here's a recap from Tuesday, day 13 of the trial.

  • May 14, 2024

    Feds Say Bannon Must Start Prison Term After Losing Appeal

    Prosecutors asked a District of Columbia federal judge Tuesday to order Donald Trump ally Steve Bannon to begin his four-month prison sentence for defying a congressional subpoena, now that the D.C. Circuit has rejected his appeal.

  • May 14, 2024

    Insurer Files Another Suit Over Firm's Malpractice Coverage

    After dropping a complaint in Washington federal court seeking a declaration that it does not have to indemnify Harris Sliwoski LLP for potential malpractice liability related to a $31 million judgment, Evanston Insurance Co. filed a similar action in New York on Tuesday.

  • May 13, 2024

    Tesla Threatened To Fire Holland & Knight, Law Prof Says

    Tesla tried to bully a law professor out of filing an amicus brief in investors' suit over Elon Musk's $56 billion compensation plan, in part by threatening to fire the company's longtime outside counsel at Holland & Knight LLP if the professor submitted his brief, according to a filing Monday in Delaware.

  • May 13, 2024

    Challenger Says Ga. Justice Is 'Working The Refs'

    Georgia Supreme Court candidate John Barrow accused his incumbent opponent on Monday of "working the refs" and capitalizing on the prospect that Barrow could face discipline for running on a platform that is stridently in favor of abortion rights in his bid for a seat on the state's highest court.

  • May 13, 2024

    Dunn Says Calif. Bar Shouldn't Have Brought Ethics Charges

    Ousted California State Bar executive Joseph Dunn has moved to dismiss his ethics case over alleged lies regarding expenditures for a trip to Mongolia, arguing the charges should have never been brought as a prior investigation regarding the expenditures closed in 2014 and found no grounds to take disciplinary actions against him.

  • May 13, 2024

    50 Cent, GC Accused Of Federal Wiretap Violations

    A liquor business consultant has told a New York state court that Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and the rapper's general counsel violated federal and New Jersey wiretap statutes, after the court dismissed an earlier counterclaim lodged under the Illinois Eavesdropping Act.

  • May 13, 2024

    Eletson Creditors Seek Over $1M Cut In Reed Smith Fees

    Unsecured creditors of shipping company Eletson Holdings have asked a New York bankruptcy judge to cut more than $1 million from the fees being sought by Eletson counsel Reed Smith LLP, saying the firm overstaffed the case and wasted money on needless and meritless fights.

  • May 13, 2024

    NC Agency Atty Guilty Of Permitting 'Coercive' Custody Deals

    The former attorney for a North Carolina county's social services department was convicted of obstruction of justice in connection with the agency forcing parents to sign "coercive" child custody agreements that put children into abusive homes and violated constitutional rights, Attorney General Josh Stein announced Monday.

  • May 13, 2024

    Flint Judge Threatens Sanctions After Water Firm's PR Stunt

    The Michigan federal judge overseeing Flint, Michigan, water crisis cases excoriated a water engineering firm and its PR agency for apparently running a smear campaign targeting a lawyer for Flint children, saying Monday she will sanction the firm if it doesn't turn over documents about the campaign by next week. 

  • May 13, 2024

    Boston Federal Judge To Be Witness In City Harassment Case

    A former Boston city employee will be allowed to call a senior federal judge to testify about a conversation the two had months before she reported being sexually harassed by a former city health director, a state court has ruled.

  • May 13, 2024

    Diaz Reus Attys Dodge Sanctions Over Last-Minute Dismissal Bid

    Citing a lack of good cause for sanctions, a south Florida federal judge determined Monday that shareholders in a Venezuela-linked bank cannot penalize Miami-based Diaz Reus & Targ LLP lawyers over allegations they delayed an expected October 2023 trial in a suit alleging the bank's directors breached their fiduciary duty.

  • May 13, 2024

    McCarter & English Aims To Sink Biotech Malpractice Suit

    McCarter & English LLP has asked a New Jersey state judge to toss a legal malpractice suit filed by a former biopharmaceutical client who claims the firm is responsible for the company's financial struggles.

  • May 13, 2024

    Airline Mogul Says FBI Won't Give Docs In North Carolina Suit

    Airline tycoon Farhad Azima has asked a Texas federal court to force the FBI's Houston office to comply with a subpoena for documents related to its criminal investigation of the businessman, writing that the bureau has stonewalled his "basic discovery rights" in connection with a federal lawsuit against a Dechert LLP-hired private investigator.

  • May 13, 2024

    Fla. Law Firms Get Settlement Share Dispute Revived

    Two Florida law firms may have another shot at collecting some of the settlement proceeds in a former client's construction dispute after a Florida state appeals court reversed a lower court's dismissal of the firms' claims for improper venue.

  • May 13, 2024

    Suspended Pa. Atty Gives Up License After Fraud Conviction

    A Pennsylvania lawyer has given up his law license after being sentenced to serve more than two years in prison and pay more than $260,000 in restitution for tax evasion, wire fraud and mail fraud.

  • May 13, 2024

    Chevron Says $268K Fine For Fake News Clips Must Stand

    Chevron on Friday urged the Ninth Circuit to summarily toss a Seattle attorney's appeal challenging an order that he pay $268,000 for filing a fake newspaper article as a court exhibit, saying the attorney is raising arguments that have already been rejected.

  • May 13, 2024

    NJ Town Can Shield Atty's ID In Municipal Prosecution Case

    The New Jersey state appeals court tackled a novel legal issue Monday in affirming that the Borough of Mantoloking does not need to turn over the identity of an attorney who provided collegial legal advice in the form of an email to a town prosecutor in a contentious traffic infraction case.

  • May 13, 2024

    Fla. Bar Wants Referrals On Judicial Election Conduct Banned

    The Florida Supreme Court will now consider a rule change that would make it clear that Florida Bar officials will not consider ethics complaints by judges with respect to claims of violations of rules or laws relating to judicial elections.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge D'Emic On Moby Grape

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    The 1968 Moby Grape song "Murder in My Heart for the Judge" tells the tale of a fictional defendant treated with scorn by the judge, illustrating how much the legal system has evolved in the past 50 years, largely due to problem-solving courts and the principles of procedural justice, says Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Matthew D'Emic.

  • The Basics Of Law Firm Cyber Liability Insurance Applications

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    Cyber liability insurance has become a common consideration for law firms as cyber threats have escalated, but these insurance forms can be quite complicated given the nature of the industry and associated risks, so simply filling out the form won't necessarily result in an ideal policy for your firm, says Kevin Haight at WAMS.

  • Series

    Performing Music Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    The discipline of performing live music has directly and positively influenced my effectiveness as a litigator — serving as a reminder that practice, intuition and team building are all important elements of a successful law practice, says Jeff Wakolbinger at Bryan Cave.

  • Breaking Down High Court's New Code Of Conduct

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    The U.S. Supreme Court recently adopted its first-ever code of conduct, and counsel will need to work closely with clients in navigating its provisions, from gift-giving to recusal bids, say Phillip Gordon and Mateo Forero at Holtzman Vogel.

  • Opinion

    Legal Profession Gender Parity Requires Equal Parental Leave

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    To truly foster equity in the legal profession and to promote attorney retention, workplaces need to better support all parents, regardless of gender — starting by offering equal and robust parental leave to both birthing and non-birthing parents, says Ali Spindler at Irwin Fritchie.

  • Series

    Writing Thriller Novels Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Authoring several thriller novels has enriched my work by providing a fresh perspective on my privacy practice, expanding my knowledge, and keeping me alert to the next wave of issues in an increasingly complex space — a reminder to all lawyers that extracurricular activities can help sharpen professional instincts, says Reece Hirsch at Morgan Lewis.

  • What Lawyers Must Know About Calif. State Bar's AI Guidance

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    Initial recommendations from the State Bar of California regarding use of generative artificial intelligence by lawyers have the potential to become a useful set of guidelines in the industry, covering confidentiality, supervision and training, communications, discrimination and more, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • Industry Must Elevate Native American Women Attys' Stories

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    The American Bar Association's recent research study into Native American women attorneys' experiences in the legal industry reveals the glacial pace of progress, and should inform efforts to amplify Native voices in the field, says Mary Smith, president of the ABA.

  • Understanding Discovery Obligations In Era Of Generative AI

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Attorneys and businesses must adapt to the unique discovery challenges presented by generative artificial intelligence, such as chatbot content and prompts, while upholding the principles of fairness, transparency and compliance with legal obligations in federal civil litigation, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • Asserting 'Presence-Of-Counsel' Defense In Securities Trials

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    As illustrated by the fraud trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, defense attorneys in securities trials might consider arguing that counsel had some involvement in the conduct at issue — if the more formal advice-of-counsel defense is unavailable and circumstances allow for a privilege waiver, say Joseph Dever and Matthew Elkin at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Key Takeaways From DOJ's Recent FARA Advisory Opinions

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    The U.S. Department of Justice recently published several redacted advisory opinions on the Foreign Agents Registration Act, clarifying its current thinking on when a person or entity is required to register as a foreign agent under the statute, and when they may qualify for an exemption, says Tessa Capeloto at Wiley Rein.

  • The Case For Post-Bar Clerk Training Programs At Law Firms

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    In today's competitive legal hiring market, an intentionally designed training program for law school graduates awaiting bar admission can be an effective way of creating a pipeline of qualified candidates, says Brent Daub at Gilson Daub.

  • Attorneys Have An Ethical Duty To Protect The Judiciary

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    The tenor of public disagreement and debate has become increasingly hostile against judges, and though the legislative branch is trying to ameliorate this safety gap, lawyers have a moral imperative and professional requirement to stand with judges in defusing attacks against them and their rulings, says Deborah Winokur at Cozen O'Connor.

  • AI Can Help Lawyers Overcome The Programming Barrier

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    Legal professionals without programming expertise can use generative artificial intelligence to harness the power of automation and other technology solutions to streamline their work, without the steep learning curve traditionally associated with coding, says George Zalepa at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Preparing Law Students For A New, AI-Assisted Legal World

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    As artificial intelligence rapidly transforms the legal landscape, law schools must integrate technology and curricula that address AI’s innate challenges — from ethics to data security — to help students stay ahead of the curve, say Daniel Garrie at Law & Forensics, Ryan Abbott at JAMS and Karen Silverman at Cantellus Group.

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