Anyone who thinks that legal ethics is a sleepy area of the law didn't live through 2018. The year saw major decisions about conflict waivers and defunct firm clawbacks, among other meaty topics, and enough head-shaking news springing from the special counsel probe into the presidential election to make one dizzy. Here, Law360 highlights some of the biggest ethics and professional conduct stories of 2018.
The European Commission on Tuesday said it has approved China Reinsurance Group Corp.'s $950 million acquisition of global specialty insurer Chaucer Insurance Group PLC under Europe's merger rules.
General counsel from various industries were forced into the spotlight and held publicly accountable this year — either because they allegedly behaved inappropriately or were accused of handling internal situations poorly — as the #MeToo movement swept through corporate America and its in-house law departments.
A Texas federal judge’s declaration that the entire Affordable Care Act is invalid left attorneys questioning why the judge didn’t actually halt the ACA’s operation and where the litigation is headed next.
The Second Circuit held that a lower court was right in concluding that Safeco Insurance Co. of America is entitled to indemnification from a construction contractor for losses suffered under bonds issued for Army Corps of Engineers projects, finding no merit to claims that the insurer flouted its contractual obligations or acted in bad faith.
A California state appeals court on Friday let stand a trial court’s denial of class certification to a group of more than 1,500 property inspectors who claimed Allstate Insurance Co. and Farmers Insurance Group shorted them on pay, saying their certification bid was based on a flawed plan for trying the case.
An explosive multivehicle tractor trailer crash has sparked a legal battle in Kansas federal court in which a trucking company accuses its insurer of failing to protect it from lawsuits filed by the accident's victims and even undermining it by taking their side.
A New Jersey insurance broker is accused of conspiring to bilk Blue Cross Blue Shield out of $10 million through a scheme in which he obtained employee health insurance plans for hundreds of individuals who weren’t eligible for them, federal prosecutors announced Monday.
Insys Therapeutics Inc. has been sanctioned by an Arizona federal court for failing to prepare a witness who was supposed to answer questions about why employees replaced the word "cancer" with an exclamation point in emails, in Blue Cross Blue Shield's suit alleging that the embattled opioid maker bribed doctors to overprescribe its flagship painkiller, Subsys.
A pair of pension funds investing in health care company Centene sued the company Friday, claiming it concealed financial problems with its $6.8 billion acquisition of Health Net, including Health Net’s liability for over $1 billion in California taxes.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection correctly forced Hartford Fire Insurance Co. to cover unpaid anti-dumping duties on garlic under bonds taken out by a Chinese company, the U.S. Court of International Trade said Friday, rejecting the insurer’s assertion that a federal law retroactively wiped out the bonds.
The Eleventh Circuit on Friday left intact a Florida federal jury’s finding on retrial that Geico didn’t act in bad faith when it failed to settle with the family of a woman killed in a road rage incident involving the insurer’s policyholder, saying the district court acted within its bounds in nullifying a prior $5.2 million judgment against Geico and ordering the new trial.
K&L Gates LLP has hired a real estate partner in California from Fox Rothschild LLP with experience advising insurance companies, private equity investors, hotel owners and other clients on a variety of real estate issues and transactions, including joint ventures, acquisitions and land use matters.
Lincoln Financial Group has hired Genworth Financial veteran Leon Roday to serve as its general counsel, the financial advisory firm announced Friday.
A Florida federal judge has tossed a lawsuit against Aetna Life Insurance Co. seeking to recover thousands of dollars that the families of troubled teenagers paid for wilderness therapy programs in Colorado and Utah, finding that the programs aren't "residential treatment facilities" covered by the policies.
In a shocking decision, a Texas federal judge ruled late Friday that the entire Affordable Care Act must be invalidated because its individual mandate, a cornerstone of the landmark law, will soon become unconstitutional.
A California federal court on Thursday dismissed an investor's proposed class action alleging shares of Molina Healthcare Inc. declined when it became apparent the health insurer wouldn’t achieve the growth executives had touted, saying the executives’ statements were forward-looking and inactionable.
The last week has seen an Italian investment boutique sue a film production company, MMA and Axa sue shipper MSC and a wealth management firm lodge a part 8 action against major banks like Barclays and HSBC.
The U.S. Department of Justice urged a D.C. federal judge Friday not to keep CVS and Aetna apart while reviewing a proposed merger settlement the judge had blasted as having been pushed through without adequate judicial scrutiny, arguing that a delay is unnecessary and beyond the court’s authority.
The Illinois Supreme Court made it easier to pursue judgments against distributors in product liability suits, State Farm agreed to pay $250 million to end accusations it bought an Illinois Supreme Court judge, and the Seventh Circuit upheld Chicago's win of a nationwide injunction blocking an anti-sanctuary cities policy. Here, Law360 highlights some of the biggest Illinois decisions in 2018.
With the anticipated wave of insurance litigation involving Hurricane Harvey disputes, it's likely that Texas lawyers will look to circumvent the so-called Hail Bill. Courts should continue to enforce the bill's clear intention — promoting early resolution of disputed weather-related insurance claims, say Brian Odom and Raven Atchison of Zelle LLP.
Social engineering claims have often faced coverage denials under cyber or computer fraud insurance policies, but two circuit courts have reversed the trend in recent months. Combined with the legislative focus on cybersecurity and privacy at the federal level, these cases could mean big changes for cyber insurance, say Erin Illman and Alex Purvis of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.
A recent interagency order exempting premium finance accounts from the Bank Secrecy Act's customer identification program rules will allow financial institutions to concentrate more anti-money-laundering resources on products and services that pose a greater risk, say Carlton Greene and Danielle Giffuni of Crowell & Moring LLP.
In UnitedHealthcare v. Azar, a D.C. federal court recently determined that it was too easy for Medicare Advantage health plans to be accused of fraud based on erroneous data. Though the court struck down a regulation instructing plans to use "reasonable diligence," plans should not scale back compliance programs, says Michael Kolber of Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.
In two recent cases, Illinois courts have begun to chip away at the separation between an insurer and defense counsel when that counsel is chosen by the insurer. These incorrect rulings create confusion about whose interests counsel is representing, say Brian Bassett and Kyle Dickinson of Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP.
By 2030, it is possible that 75 percent of lawyers practicing in the U.S. will be millennials. A broadened focus on retention and advancement of all young lawyers is therefore a logical step forward but it fails to address another major retention issue that law firms should explore, says Susan Smith Blakely of LegalPerspectives LLC.
While the California Supreme Court has held that summary judgment is no longer a disfavored remedy, two recent California Court of Appeal decisions demonstrate a continuing ambivalence concerning a trial court’s discretion to grant summary judgment, say attorneys with Horvitz & Levy LLP.
Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Idaho Wendy Olson discusses her decades of experience prosecuting white collar crimes and civil rights violations, her work and challenges as U.S. attorney, and her move to private practice.
Anthony Thompson’s "Dangerous Leaders: How and Why Lawyers Must Be Taught to Lead" explores the conflict many lawyers face when charged with the responsibility of leadership. The book is an excellent read for all lawyers, says U.S. District Chief Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown of the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Trial lawyers are frequently taught that they should appear invisible during direct examination — that their job is merely to prompt the witness to start speaking. But the most powerful direct examinations are the ones in which the examiner, not the witness, is controlling the pace, say attorneys with Kobre & Kim LLP.