Courts

  • 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.

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    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.

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    Was Armorer 'Sloppy' Or 'Scapegoat'? 'Rust' Trial Opens

    An attorney for film prop weapons expert Hannah Gutierrez-Reed told a New Mexico state jury during opening statements in her involuntary manslaughter trial Thursday that the producers of "Rust," including actor Alec Baldwin, used the young armorer as a "scapegoat" in the fatal on-set shooting of a cinematographer.

  • 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.

  • NJ Public Defender Gets Partial Win In Atty's Bias Case

    A New Jersey state judge on Thursday tossed several allegations against the state's Office of the Public Defender in a suit brought by a former employee alleging that she was forced to resign because of discrimination and a hostile work environment, ruling that she failed to provide the state agency with proper notice of her complaint.

  • 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.

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    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."

  • 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.

  • 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.

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    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.

  • 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.

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    Former Kamala Harris Tech Adviser Joins DOJ As 1st AI Chief

    Faced with growing challenges involving artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, the U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday named a renowned adviser and professor as its first-ever adviser focused on these emerging technologies.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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    Assistant Public Defender Picked For Del. Family Court Bench

    Delaware Gov. John Carney has nominated an assistant public defender and unit leader in the state's Office of Defense Services for a Family Court judgeship.

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    Full Supreme Court Won't Halt Boy Scouts' Ch. 11 Plan

    The full U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday shot down an appeal that had prompted Justice Samuel Alito to briefly halt the Boy Scouts of America's bankruptcy and had thrown its Chapter 11 plan into temporary disarray.

  • Esformes Gets Time Served In Plea Deal With Gov't

    The yearslong prosecution against Miami nursing home mogul Philip Esformes ended Thursday when he pled guilty to one of the pending healthcare fraud charges against him and was sentenced to time served.

  • 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.

  • Justices To Weigh Stark Split In Views Of ATF Bump Stock Ban

    A firearms instructor who claims the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives doesn't have the authority to ban bump stocks may have a slight edge when the case is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next week, attorneys told Law360.

  • Columbia, Barnard Don't Protect Jewish Students, Suit Says

    Columbia University and Barnard College have a long history of allowing antisemitism to run rampant on their campuses and most recently have failed to protect Jewish students from harassment and violence following the Hamas-led killings in Israel on Oct. 7, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan.

  • Voters Want Ga. Officials Sanctioned For Withheld Evidence

    Voting rights advocates who faced off with Georgia election officials at trial last month are now seeking sanctions against the Coffee County, Georgia, board of elections and its attorneys for allegedly withholding evidence related to a January 2021 voting machine breach in the county and for knowingly allowing a witness to lie under oath.

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    Justices Offer Conflicting Clues In Copyright Damages Fight

    U.S. Supreme Court justices hearing a case over damages in copyright disputes gave conflicting hints Wednesday about where they stand on the discovery rule, a judicially created doctrine that allows claims to accrue when plaintiffs learn of alleged infringement.

  • Justices Squabble Over Emergency Review Of EPA Smog Plan

    The U.S. Supreme Court's liberal wing denounced during oral argument Wednesday their colleagues' decision to consider the merits of four related emergency requests to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing a plan to reduce cross-state pollution without first getting lower court input.

  • Mass. High Court Pick Challenged Over Past With Governor

    Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey's pick for the state's highest court faced questions Wednesday about potential conflicts of interest arising from her past romantic relationship with the governor from members of the panel that votes to confirm judicial nominations in the state, a rare pushback by the Governor's Council.

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    4th Circ. Won't Revive Ex-NC Assistant AG's Bias Suit

    The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday refused to revive a former assistant attorney general's gender and disability bias suit against the North Carolina Department of Justice, finding her medical conditions weren't extreme enough to warrant pausing the deadline to refile her complaint.

Expert Analysis

  • A Model For Optimal Legal Tech Investment Strategy Author Photo

    Legal organizations struggling to work out the right technology investment strategy may benefit from using a matrix for legal department efficiency that is based on an understanding of where workloads belong, according to the basic functions and priorities of a corporate legal team, says Sylvain Magdinier at Integreon.

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    My Nonpracticing Law Job: Recruiter Author Photo

    Self-proclaimed "Lawyer Doula" Danielle Thompson at Major Lindsey shares how she went from Columbia Law School graduate and BigLaw employment associate to a career in legal recruiting — and discovered a passion for advocacy along the way.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Balance Social Activism With My Job? Author Photo

    Corporate attorneys pursuing social justice causes outside of work should consider eight guidelines for finding equilibrium between their beliefs and their professional duties and reputation, say Diedrick Graham, Debra Friedman and Simeon Brier at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Personality Tests And Machine Learning Applications In Law Author Photo

    Mateusz Kulesza at McDonnell Boehnen looks at potential applications of personality testing based on machine learning techniques for law firms, and the implications this shift could have for lawyers, firms and judges, including how it could make the work of judges and other legal decision-makers much more difficult.

  • AI Is Reshaping Lawyering: What To Expect In 2024 Author Photo

    The future of lawyering is not about the wholesale replacement of attorneys by artificial intelligence, but as AI handles more of the routine legal work, the role of lawyers will evolve to be more strategic, requiring the development of competencies beyond traditional legal skills, says Colin Levy at Malbek.

  • Embrace Active Voice In Legal Writing — In Most Cases Author Photo

    Legal writers should strive to craft sentences in the active voice to promote brevity and avoid ambiguities that can spark litigation, but writing in the passive voice is sometimes appropriate — when it's a moral choice and not a grammatical failure, says Diana Simon at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Help Associates Turn Down Work? Author Photo

    Marina Portnova at Lowenstein Sandler discusses what partners can do to aid their associates in setting work-life boundaries, especially around after-hours assignment availability.

  • How AI Legal Research Tools Are Shifting Law Firm Processes Author Photo

    Although artificial intelligence-powered legal research is ushering in a new era of legal practice that augments human expertise with data-driven insights, it is not without challenges involving privacy, ethics and more, so legal professionals should take steps to ensure AI becomes a reliable partner rather than a source of disruption, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • Data Source Proliferation Is A Growing E-Discovery Challenge Author Photo

    With the increased usage of collaboration apps and generative artificial intelligence solutions, it's not only important for e-discovery teams to be able to account for hundreds of existing data types today, but they should also be able to add support for new data types quickly — even on the fly if needed, says Oliver Silva at Casepoint.

  • Bracing For A Generative AI Revolution In Law Author Photo

    With many legal professionals starting to explore practical uses of generative artificial intelligence in areas such as research, discovery and legal document development, the fundamental principle of human oversight cannot be underscored enough for it to be successful, say Ty Dedmon at Bradley Arant and Paige Hunt at Lighthouse.

  • Why I Use ChatGPT To Tell Me Things I Already Know Author Photo

    The legal profession is among the most hesitant to adopt ChatGPT because of its proclivity to provide false information as if it were true, but in a wide variety of situations, lawyers can still be aided by information that is only in the right ballpark, says Robert Plotkin at Blueshift IP.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Use Social Media Responsibly? Author Photo

    Leah Kelman at Herrick Feinstein discusses the importance of reasoned judgment and thoughtful process when it comes to newly admitted attorneys' social media use.

  • Yada, Yada, Yada: The Magic Of 3 In Legal Writing Author Photo

    Attorneys should take a cue from U.S. Supreme Court justices and boil their arguments down to three points in their legal briefs and oral advocacy, as the number three is significant in the way we process information, says Diana Simon at University of Arizona.

  • How Firms Can Stop Playing Whack-A-Mole With Data Security Author Photo

    In order to achieve a robust client data protection posture, law firms should focus on adopting a risk-based approach to security, which can be done by assessing gaps, using that data to gain leadership buy-in for the needed changes, and adopting a dynamic and layered approach, says John Smith at Conversant Group.

  • 5 Life Lessons From Making Partner As A Solo Parent Author Photo

    Laranda Walker at Susman Godfrey, who was raising two small children and working her way to partner when she suddenly lost her husband, shares what fighting to keep her career on track taught her about accepting help, balancing work and family, and discovering new reserves of inner strength.

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