Legal Ethics

  • May 22, 2024

    'Appeal To Heaven' Flag Flew At Alito's Vacation Home: Report

    Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday called for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito to immediately recuse himself from cases related to the 2020 election and face censure after The New York Times reported that flags tied to Donald Trump supporters had flown outside two homes owned by the justice in 2021 and again last year.

  • May 22, 2024

    Michael Best Accused Of Malpractice In Startup's Restructure

    Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, one of its partners and one of its former attorneys are accused of mishandling a technology startup's reorganization, jeopardizing tax benefits for its founders, according to a legal malpractice lawsuit filed in Illinois state court.

  • May 22, 2024

    Feds To Extend Plea Offer To Oath Keepers Atty In Jan. 6 Case

    Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that they plan to extend a plea offer to an attorney for the far-right Oath Keepers group charged in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol, but the specifics of the offer could depend on the U.S. Supreme Court's stance on a federal statute often used to prosecute alleged Capitol rioters.

  • May 22, 2024

    Inventor To Take $102M IP Malpractice Row To Ga. High Court

    A neurosurgeon pursuing a nearly $102 million legal malpractice case against FisherBroyles LLP and a legal services contractor over a missed patent filing deadline said Wednesday that he is planning to take the dispute to the highest court in the Peach State.

  • May 22, 2024

    Mich. Judge Not Satisfied By Atty's Letter Over Flint PR Stunt

    The federal judge overseeing Flint, Michigan, water crisis cases isn't satisfied with a California attorney's letter denying involvement in an alleged smear campaign targeting a lawyer for Flint children, saying Wednesday that if the attorney doesn't provide more substantive information, she will be referred to the State Bar of California.

  • May 22, 2024

    Ex-Mich. Judge Loses Law License Challenge

    A former Detroit trial court judge's failure to object to a magistrate judge's recommendation to toss her claims means she cannot continue to pursue a discrimination and defamation complaint against the state's judicial disciplinary board, a federal judge in Michigan ruled Wednesday.

  • May 22, 2024

    New Bill Calls For High Court To Explain Emergency Rulings

    A coalition of Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill Wednesday that would require the U.S. Supreme Court to provide vote tallies and explanations for decisions in most cases on its elusive emergency docket.

  • May 22, 2024

    Ill. Judge Hands Over Case As Cautious Step Amid DQ Bid

    An Illinois federal judge overseeing an Illinois tax attorney's witness tampering case — who previously presided over his fraud trial that ended in a mistrial — recused herself from a retrial "in an abundance of caution," but rejected the attorney's claims that she recommended to the government to add the tampering charge.

  • May 22, 2024

    NJ Law Firm Sued For Allegedly Botching Med Mal Action

    New Jersey law firm Bramnick Rodriguez Grabas Arnold & Mangan LLC has been hit a legal malpractice lawsuit in state court from a former client alleging the firm botched a medical malpractice action by failing to submit an expert report.

  • May 22, 2024

    Deal Reached In Dispute Over Seward & Kissel Call Logs In NJ

    The billionaire founder of hedge fund Two Sigma Investments LP agreed this week to allow records of his communications with Seward & Kissel LLP, with some limitations, to be turned over to his wife, who is suing the firm, alleging that it helped cheat her out of billions in the couple's ongoing divorce.

  • May 22, 2024

    Fla. Judges Cleared To Speak On Legal Process During Panels

    A Florida judge can participate in a local bar association discussion panel that addresses how judges confer with colleagues and consider amicus filings without violating the Florida Code of Judicial Conduct, according to a new advisory opinion by the Florida Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee.

  • May 22, 2024

    DeSantis Ducks Voters' Suit Over Fla. Prosecutor Suspension

    A Florida federal judge on Wednesday tossed voters' attempt to undo Gov. Ron DeSantis' suspension of elected prosecutor Monique Worrell, finding that the voters had not shown they were injured by the suspension.

  • May 22, 2024

    NJ Atty Faces Fla. Suspension Over Sale Of $1.6M Painting

    An attorney suspended for one year in New Jersey last year for smuggling a $1.6 million painting out of his house to avoid an asset sale has agreed to a guilty plea accepting another yearlong suspension in Florida related to the scheme.

  • May 22, 2024

    Texas Attys Get Green Light To Charge Subscription Fees

    An opinion recently issued by the Professional Ethics Committee of the State Bar of Texas gives Lone Star State lawyers the go-ahead to offer subscription-based legal services so long as the arrangement doesn't result in the charging of an "unconscionable fee."

  • May 22, 2024

    5 'Fat Leonard' Bribery Pleas Axed Over Misconduct

    A California federal judge has agreed to toss felony plea deals for five former U.S. Navy officers who admitted they took bribes from the Malaysian defense contractor known as "Fat Leonard," after the government acknowledged prosecutorial missteps had tainted the high-profile case.

  • May 22, 2024

    LA Investor Sues Greenberg Glusker Over 'Appalling' Filings

    A Los Angeles investor has filed a suit against Greenberg Glusker and two of its partners for allegedly bungling his defense in an underlying suit brought by his stepson, accusing the firm of sharing a draft complaint prior to filing and including inaccuracies and unnecessary personal attacks in another filing, while also pressuring him to accept a bad settlement.

  • May 22, 2024

    Oil Tanker Operators To Pay $2M For Dumping Oil From Ship

    The operators of the motor tanker PS Dream pled guilty in Louisiana federal court as part of a $2 million plea deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that includes four years of probation, after a whistleblower shared a video of oil being deliberately pumped overboard in January 2023.

  • May 21, 2024

    Toll Bros. Lobs Legal Malpractice Claims At Gordon Rees

    Luxury home builder Toll Bros. Inc. has filed legal malpractice and breach of contract claims against Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP, claiming that the California-based firm didn't comply with discovery obligations, among other failures while representing Toll Bros. in a dispute over a project in Washington state.

  • May 21, 2024

    LoanDepot's $3.5M Deal In IPO Disclosure Suit Gets Final OK

    A California federal judge has granted final approval to LoanDepot's $3.5 million settlement in a suit alleging it misled investors leading up to the company's initial public offering, despite a shareholder's objection that the settlement is insufficient.

  • May 21, 2024

    X Corp., Hate Speech Watchdog Settle Atty Fees Bid

    A California federal judge Tuesday signed off on an agreement that X Corp. and the Center for Countering Digital Hate reached to resolve the nonprofit organization's bid for $300,000 in attorney fees following a successful defense against the Elon Musk-led social media platform's claims that the center used improper tactics to write one of its articles.

  • May 21, 2024

    More Classified Docs Were Found After Mar-A-Lago Raid

    Additional classified documents were found at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate, including in Trump's bedroom, after the FBI's August 2022 search of the Florida property, according to a filing unsealed Tuesday in the criminal case accusing him of mishandling classified documents.

  • May 21, 2024

    High Court Ethics Bill In 'High Consideration,' Schumer Says

    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Tuesday that a bill to institute an ethics code for the U.S. Supreme Court was in "high consideration" to come before the full Senate for a vote, following the report last week that an upside-down flag, which has become a symbol for former President Donald Trump's claims that the 2020 election was stolen, was flown outside Justice Samuel Alito's house after the attack on the U.S. Capitol a month later.

  • May 21, 2024

    Ex-LA DA Sues State Farm Over Gun Incident Legal Fees

    Former Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey sued her insurer in California state court Tuesday, alleging State Farm cost her more than $2.1 million by failing to cover legal fees when she and her late husband were sued because he brandished a gun against protesters at their home.

  • May 21, 2024

    Conn. Atty Denies Involvement In $1.4M Transfer Scam

    Connecticut attorney Carole W. Briggs has issued a sweeping, albeit untimely, denial of the allegations in a lawsuit filed by a New Jersey real estate developer in Connecticut federal court that accused her of playing a role in a business email compromise scam that stole $1.4 million.

  • May 21, 2024

    $93M Lipitor Antitrust Deal Sparks Dispute Over Fee Division

    Attorneys representing a class of buyers in antitrust litigation against Pfizer over the cholesterol medication Lipitor are squabbling over how to divide up to $31 million in attorney fees before a New Jersey federal judge even approves the total, according to court documents.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Requiring Leave To File Amicus Briefs Is A Bad Idea

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    A proposal to amend the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure that would require parties to get court permission before filing federal amicus briefs would eliminate the long-standing practice of consent filing and thereby make the process less open and democratic, says Lawrence Ebner at the Atlantic Legal Foundation and DRI Center.

  • 4 Ways To Motivate Junior Attorneys To Bring Their Best

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    As Gen Z and younger millennial attorneys increasingly express dissatisfaction with their work and head for the exits, the lawyers who manage them must understand and attend to their needs and priorities to boost engagement and increase retention, says Stacey Schwartz at Katten.

  • Series

    Serving As A Sheriff's Deputy Made Me A Better Lawyer

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    Skills developed during my work as a reserve deputy — where there was a need to always be prepared, decisive and articulate — transferred to my practice as an intellectual property litigator, and my experience taught me that clients often appreciate and relate to the desire to participate in extracurricular activities, says Michael Friedland at Friedland Cianfrani.

  • Former Minn. Chief Justice Instructs On Writing Better Briefs

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    Former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, now at Greenberg Traurig, offers strategies on writing more effective appellate briefs from her time on the bench.

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • The Fed. Circ. In February: A Reminder On Procedure Rule 28

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    Because the Federal Circuit does not often issue a sua sponte precedential order emphasizing an important rule of practice, it is useful to look at how the court applied the restrictions of appellate procedure Rule 28 in Promptu v. Comcast last month, and in cases that preceded it, say Jeremiah Helm and Sean Murray at Knobbe Martens.

  • Opinion

    DOJ Press Office Is Not Fulfilling Its Stated Mission

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    The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs’ apparent practice of issuing press releases when someone is indicted or convicted, but not when a defendant prevails, undermines its stated mission to disseminate “current, complete and accurate” information, and has negative real-world ramifications, says Sara Kropf at Kropf Moseley.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • Opinion

    Litigation Funding Needs Regulating To Meet Ethics Standards

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    Third-party litigation funding can provide litigants with access to the legal system, but, as recent cases show, the funding agreements carry the potential for exploitation and may conflict with core aspects of the attorney-client relationship, making the need for a balanced regulation self-evident, says Deborah Winokur at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • Series

    Riding My Peloton Bike Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Using the Peloton platform for cycling, running, rowing and more taught me that fostering a mind-body connection will not only benefit you physically and emotionally, but also inspire stamina, focus, discipline and empathy in your legal career, says Christopher Ward at Polsinelli.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

  • For Now, Generative AI Is Risky For Class Action Counsel

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    Although a recent survey showed most in-house counsel think that their outside counsel should be using generative artificial intelligence "in some way" in class action work, the technology is more a target for class actions than it is a tool to be used in practice at present, says Matthew Allen at Carlton Fields.

  • When Your Client Insists On Testifying In A Criminal Case

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    Speculation that former President Donald Trump could take the stand in any of the four criminal cases he faces serves as a reminder for counsel to consider their ethical obligations when a client insists on testifying, including the attorney’s duty of candor to the court and the depth of their discussions with clients, says Marissa Kingman at Fox Rothschild.

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