Legal Ethics

  • February 22, 2024

    Calif. Judges Get Guidance On When To Report Atty Misconduct

    California judges need not always report attorney misconduct to the state bar, according to the latest opinion issued by the California Supreme Court's ethics watchdog on Thursday, advising when judges are compelled to report attorney misdeeds.

  • February 22, 2024

    Attys Settle Yacht Donor's Malpractice Suit Over $4.6M Tax Bill

    A New York law firm and two attorneys have settled what remained of a malpractice suit brought by a former client who alleged faulty legal advice led to her being slapped with a $4.6 million tax bill, with a joint stipulation of dismissal filed Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Game Maker Deserves Sanctions For Sealed Docs, Court Told

    High 5 Games and its attorneys should be slapped with sanctions for repeatedly trying to seal nearly all company records and filing overly long court briefs in a class action accusing the casino phone game developer of defrauding players, according to a motion filed by the lead plaintiff.

  • February 22, 2024

    Trump Atty Sanctioned For Filing IP Suit On Gut Feelings

    A Florida federal judge has sanctioned an attorney who said he could "just know" if a product infringed his client's patents, rather than conducting a factual investigation — a move that the attorney claimed was backlash for representing former President Donald Trump elsewhere.

  • February 22, 2024

    IP Forecast: Samsung Eyes Ex-Attys' Litigation Funder Chats

    Samsung plans to ask a Texas court to force a patent litigation business to disclose communications with litigation funders ahead of a trial next month over whether the tech giant's former in-house counsel stole trade secrets. Here's a look at that case — plus all the other major intellectual property matters on deck in the coming week.

  • February 22, 2024

    OpenSky Tells Vidal VLSI Fees Relied On 'Fabricated' Exhibit

    OpenSky Industries LLC has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director to reconsider making it pay $413,000 in attorney fees to VLSI Technology, arguing in a newly unsealed filing that she failed to justify the award and allowed records "fabricated" by VLSI. 

  • February 22, 2024

    US Can't Appeal Order To Give Avenatti's Tax Info To Trustee

    A California federal judge declined Wednesday to allow the U.S. to appeal a bankruptcy court's decision ordering Michael Avenatti's tax returns to be released to the trustee overseeing the estate of Eagan Avenatti LLP's bankruptcy, finding the decision to be unappealable, and Avenatti himself hasn't objected to the disclosure.

  • February 22, 2024

    Law Firm Sued For Using Photo Of Disgraced OB-GYN Online

    A professional photographer has accused Dallas-based The Schmidt Firm PLLC of copyright infringement over an image of convicted sexual abuser and former Columbia University obstetrician-gynecologist Robert Hadden, saying in Texas federal court that the firm used the image on its website without permission.

  • February 22, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Protect AbbVie's Atty-Client Communications

    The Third Circuit has denied AbbVie Inc.'s bid to block a Pennsylvania federal court's order to turn over attorney communications from a patent case allegedly cooked up just to extend the company's monopoly on a testosterone drug, but the appellate court's explanation remained under seal Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Wolverine Wants Judgment, Sanctions In PFAS Coverage Row

    Footwear company Wolverine asked a Michigan federal court Thursday to grant it a win and impose additional sanctions against its insurer for continued "flagrant disregard and willful disobedience of discovery orders" in a dispute over coverage of PFAS chemical injury suits that may set the tone for similar litigation.

  • February 22, 2024

    DraftKings Says Ex-Exec's $310K Attys Fees Bid Is Excessive

    DraftKings has told a California federal court that the "whopping" $310,000 in attorney fees requested by a former executive after the company shuffled the case back and forth between state and federal court is an unreasonable fee no "reasonable client" would pay.

  • February 22, 2024

    Disbarred Pa. Attorney Faces Forgery, Tampering Charges

    A disbarred Pennsylvania attorney now faces criminal charges for allegedly presenting fake court documents to clients with forged signatures of judges while pretending to litigate dismissed lawsuits.

  • February 22, 2024

    Law Firm Scolded For 'Misbegotten' ChatGPT Use In Fees Bid

    A Manhattan federal judge criticized a special education-focused law firm Thursday for citing ChatGPT calculations to back up its attorney fee request of more than $100,000, calling the move "utterly and unusually unpersuasive."

  • February 22, 2024

    IRS Agent, Gov't Attys Immune From RICO Suit, Judge Says

    An Arizona federal judge dismissed a $15 million lawsuit against an Internal Revenue Service agent and two assistant U.S. attorneys brought by an investment adviser convicted of filing false tax returns, saying Thursday the government employees were immune from claims that included racketeering and malicious prosecution.

  • February 22, 2024

    Judge Partially Tosses Suit Over Texas Beirut Bombing Suits

    A Texas federal judge has partially dismissed a lawsuit between two Houston attorneys and a Maryland firm they've accused of unfairly terminating a joint venture for litigation over the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing, writing that the firm can't face suit in the Lone Star State because the duo initiated and executed the representation agreement while on the East Coast.

  • February 22, 2024

    Convicted Chicago Pol Seeks Acquittal Or New Trial

    One of Chicago's longest serving and most powerful local politicians asked an Illinois federal judge Wednesday to set aside a jury's December verdict convicting him of using his official position to steer tax business to his personal law firm, saying no rational jury could have convicted him based on the evidence presented at trial.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Refiles Defamation Case Against Influencer

    The $150 million defamation battle between former Greenberg Traurig LLP attorney Allan Kassenoff and the social media influencer he accuses of lying about his nightmarish divorce has entered a new phase as Kassenoff has filed a slimmed-down complaint after the previous one was dismissed for being "far longer than it needs to be."

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-DOJ Atty Has No Right To Block Testimony, Panel Told

    A former U.S. Department of Justice attorney accused of aiding Donald Trump's efforts to undermine the 2020 election results cannot claim executive privilege to block fellow former officials' testimony at his upcoming attorney disciplinary hearing, according to the Washington, D.C., bar's disciplinary counsel.

  • February 22, 2024

    Fla. Passes Bill To Allow Release Of Epstein Grand Jury Docs

    The Florida Legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would expand the current exceptions for grand jury secrecy and pave the way for the release of the 2006 grand jury investigation into the late billionaire serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

  • February 22, 2024

    Roberts, Thomas Don't Use Marshals For Travel Security

    Newly released U.S. Marshals Service reports show U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas have not used the agency's security services in recent years, a decision that a watchdog says shields their off-hours travels from public scrutiny.

  • February 22, 2024

    Ex-Mich. Judge May Lose Law License Loss Challenge

    A Michigan magistrate judge recommended the dismissal of a former judge's suit alleging the state's judicial disciplinary board defamed her by denying the reinstatement of her law license.

  • February 22, 2024

    Fla. Whistleblower Suit Deal Averts Littler's Disqualification

    Littler Mendelson PC won't have to face a disqualification bid in Florida federal court over a firm attorney's purported use of a mistakenly produced, privileged document at a deposition after its client reached a settlement in a whistleblower retaliation suit, court records show.

  • February 22, 2024

    Judge Wary Of Sanctions Bid In 'Fabricated' Infant Death Suit

    A Connecticut federal judge is worried about the possible consequences of sanctioning parties who brought what one company called a "fabricated" product liability lawsuit blaming it and Target Corp. for a baby's death, expressing concern Thursday that any factual findings could interfere with the plaintiffs' right to a jury trial.

  • February 22, 2024

    Locke Lord Settles Failed Health Plan Malpractice Suit

    Locke Lord LLP has reached a settlement to resolve a health plan fiduciary's malpractice suit alleging the firm provided bad legal advice that doomed the plan, permanently ending an Illinois federal suit first filed in 2018.

  • February 21, 2024

    Former Texas Atty Gets 50 Years For 'Ponzi-Type' Client Fraud

    A Texas federal judge sentenced a former San Antonio lawyer to 50 years in prison after he pled guilty to mishandling millions in client funds to support his "extravagant lifestyle," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • Series

    Coaching High School Wrestling Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Coaching my son’s high school wrestling team has been great fun, but it’s also demonstrated how a legal career can benefit from certain experiences, such as embracing the unknown, studying the rules and engaging with new people, says Richard Davis at Maynard Nexsen.

  • SG's Office Is Case Study To Help Close Legal Gender Gap

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    As women continue to be underrepresented in the upper echelons of the legal profession, law firms could learn from the example set by the Office of the Solicitor General, where culture and workplace policies have helped foster greater gender equality, say attorneys at Ocean Tomo.

  • Verizon Benefits Ruling Clears Up Lien Burden Of Proof

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    A Rhode Island federal court recently ruled that a Verizon benefits plan could not recoup a former employee’s settlement funds from the attorney who represented her in a personal injury case, importantly clarifying two Employee Retirement Income Security Act burden of proof issues that were previously unsettled, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • Reimagining Law Firm Culture To Break The Cycle Of Burnout

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    While attorney burnout remains a perennial issue in the legal profession, shifting post-pandemic expectations mean that law firms must adapt their office cultures to retain talent, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Series

    Competing In Dressage Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My lifelong participation in the sport of dressage — often called ballet on horses — has proven that several skills developed through training and competition are transferable to legal work, especially the ability to harness focus, persistence and versatility when negotiating a deal, says Stephanie Coco at V&E.

  • Opinion

    High Court's Gifts Problem Taints Public Corruption Cases

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    A history of U.S. Supreme Court justices failing to disclose luxurious gifts from wealthy donors coincides with a troubling line of court precedent overturning jury convictions in public corruption cases, indicating that perhaps justices aren't presently fit to be making these decisions, says Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

  • The Legal Industry Needs A Cybersecurity Paradigm Shift

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    As law firms face ever-increasing risks of cyberattacks and ransomware incidents, the legal industry must implement robust cybersecurity measures and privacy-centric practices to preserve attorney-client privilege, safeguard client trust and uphold the profession’s integrity, says Ryan Paterson at Unplugged.

  • 5 Reasons Associates Shouldn't Take A Job Just For Money

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    As a number of BigLaw firms increase salary scales for early-career attorneys, law students and lateral associates considering new job offers should weigh several key factors that may matter more than financial compensation, say Albert Tawil at Lateral Hub and Ruvin Levavi at Power Forward.

  • Series

    Playing Competitive Tennis Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experience playing competitive tennis has highlighted why prioritizing exercise and stress relief, maintaining perspective under pressure, and supporting colleagues in pursuit of a common goal are all key aspects of championing a successful legal career, says Madhumita Datta at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Djerassi On Super Bowl 52

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    Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Ramy Djerassi discusses how Super Bowl 52, in which the Philadelphia Eagles prevailed over the New England Patriots, provides an apt metaphor for alternative dispute resolution processes in commercial business cases.

  • Considerations For Lawyer Witnesses After FTX Trial

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    Sam Bankman-Fried's recent trial testimony about his lawyers' involvement in FTX's business highlights the need for attorney-witnesses to understand privilege issues in order to avoid costly discovery disputes and, potentially, uncover critical evidence an adversary might seek to conceal, says Lawrence Bluestone at Genova Burns.

  • Employee Experience Strategy Can Boost Law Firm Success

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    Amid continuing business uncertainty, law firms should consider adopting a holistic employee experience strategy — prioritizing consistency, targeting signature moments and leveraging measurement tools — to maximize productivity and profitability, says Haley Revel at Calibrate Consulting.

  • Series

    Competing In Triathlons Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    While practicing law and competing in long-distance triathlons can make work and life feel unbalanced at times, participating in the sport has revealed important lessons about versatility, self-care and perseverance that apply to the office as much as they do the racecourse, says Laura Heusel at Butler Snow.

  • Opinion

    History Reveals Folly Of Absolute Presidential Immunity

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    As a federal appeals court grapples with former President Donald Trump’s claims that he’s immune from prosecution on election interference charges, it’s a fitting time for lawyers to reflect on the rule of law — from 13th century jurisprudence to Watergate and the Clinton impeachment — and how the idea of absolute presidential immunity is unwise, says attorney Steven Reske.

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