Legal Ethics

  • 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 complaints referred to the Florida Bar by judges about bar members cannot include claims of violations of rules or laws relating to judicial elections.

  • May 13, 2024

    Jackson Walker Seeks Sanctions Over Judge Romance Suit

    Jackson Walker LLP asked a Texas federal court Monday to sanction lawyers and their "disgruntled millionaire" client for leveling racketeering allegations in a lawsuit over a former bankruptcy judge's romantic relationship with a former firm lawyer, saying the claims are "frivolous" and "conclusory."

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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