Legal Ethics

  • September 23, 2022

    Ex-FBI Agent's Look At Restricted File Raised Flags, Jury Told

    An FBI agent testifying Friday in the bribery trial of former colleague Babak Broumand said that he became "incredibly suspicious" of Broumand after discovering he'd used a restricted law enforcement database to run the name of a federal agent under investigation over his relationship with an Armenian crime boss.

  • September 23, 2022

    AIG Scores Early Win In Ex-Company Atty's Retaliation Suit

    A New York federal judge handed American International Group a win Friday in a lawsuit by the former head of its legal consulting arm, ruling the ex-employee's own statements doom his claims that he was retaliated against for reporting alleged fraud within the company.

  • September 23, 2022

    Jones Ends Trial Week With Wish Jurors Would Do Research

    Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones told media outside of a Connecticut courthouse Friday morning that if he could speak to jurors in his Sandy Hook defamation trial, he would tell them to "research history," prompting a strong jury instruction from the judge.

  • September 23, 2022

    Group Backs Swisher High Court Bid Over Revived Verdict

    The Washington Legal Foundation has thrown its support behind tobacco company Swisher as it petitions the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a case being brought by a rival, arguing that the Ninth Circuit lacked jurisdiction to revive a $9 million jury verdict.

  • September 23, 2022

    DOJ Swerve On Mass. Judge Indictment Leaves Attys Queasy

    The sudden dismissal of criminal charges against a Massachusetts judge who allegedly helped an undocumented immigrant evade federal agents left some attorneys fearing that politics played an outsized role in the controversial case from start to finish.

  • September 23, 2022

    Avenatti Must Pay Stormy Daniels $149K In Restitution

    A New York federal judge ordered celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti Thursday to pay $148,750 in restitution to adult film actress Stormy Daniels following his conviction for defrauding his former client out of hundreds of thousands of dollars from a book deal about her alleged affair with former President Donald Trump.

  • September 23, 2022

    6th Circ. Blames Attys For Parents' Loss Of Son's Suicide Suit

    Bad legal counsel cost two parents the chance to continue a suit accusing their son's school of contributing to his suicide by singling him out for disproportionate punishment, the Sixth Circuit said in a decision refusing to revive the litigation.

  • September 23, 2022

    Philadelphia Settles Attorney's Disability Bias Suit

    The city of Philadelphia agreed to settle a Black former assistant solicitor's suit claiming she was fired for being hospitalized for a flare-up of sickle cell anemia after being subjected to increased scrutiny because of her race and gender, according to a filing in Pennsylvania federal court.

  • September 23, 2022

    Funders Eye Equity Stakes In UK Law Firms

    Private financiers are increasingly looking at taking equity stakes in law firms using alternative business structures, in a bid to deliver hefty returns for their investors.

  • September 23, 2022

    Boy Scouts Appeals Roll In, Alex Jones Ch. 11 Attys Nixed

    More than a dozen insurers commenced appeals of the Boy Scouts of America's confirmed Chapter 11 plan, proposed attorneys and advisers in an Alex Jones-linked bankruptcy were disqualified, and talc injury claimants questioned the good faith of Johnson & Johnson's talc unit in filing for bankruptcy. This is the week in bankruptcy.

  • September 23, 2022

    Jones Day Atty Faces Sanctions Bid In Paraquat MDL

    Plaintiffs accusing Syngenta and Chevron of selling the herbicide paraquat despite knowing about its health effects are pushing for sanctions against a Jones Day lawyer representing Chevron, claiming she obstructed a deposition and coached a witness.

  • September 23, 2022

    Investors Say Law Firm Should Face Pot Co. Fraud Suit

    An investment company has urged a Colorado federal court to reject law firm Tannenbaum & Trost LLC's bid to escape claims that it and a cannabis company's principals defrauded investors, saying claims against the law firm don't implicate the Controlled Substances Act.

  • September 23, 2022

    Feds Want Up To 2 Years For Atty Who Threw Molotov Cocktail

    Federal prosecutors are requesting that a former Bronx attorney who pled guilty to throwing a Molotov cocktail at an empty NYPD cruiser during riots following George Floyd's murder by police receive a sentence of 18 to 24 months in prison.

  • September 22, 2022

    NY Judge Who Pointed Gun At Black Litigant Faces Removal

    A New York judge accused of pointing a gun at an unarmed Black defendant in court and then bragging about the incident while describing the man as "built like a football player" should be removed from office, the state ethics watchdog announced Thursday in calling the action "unjustified."

  • September 22, 2022

    Combative Jones Mostly Denies Harm In Newtown Testimony

    Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones took the stand on Thursday in a damages trial over his false statements about the Sandy Hook massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, sparring with a lawyer for victims' families while at one point acknowledging it "could be" harmful to falsely call bereaved people actors.

  • September 22, 2022

    Texas Justices Mull If Payment To Exoneree Ends His Suit, Too

    Texas' high court debated the meaning of the word "bring" on Thursday as it explored whether payments received by an exoneree under a Lone Star State law for wrongful convictions are tantamount to a settlement in his ongoing civil rights lawsuit against the city of Houston and Harris County.

  • September 22, 2022

    Ill. Justices Say Ex-Client Can Sue To Recoup Punitive Award

    A former Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard PC client can pursue punitive damages it paid in an underlying suit as part of the compensatory damages it's seeking in a malpractice suit against the firm, the Illinois Supreme Court said on Thursday.

  • September 22, 2022

    Tom Girardi's Treasures Going Once, Twice, Sold At Auction

    It is often said that you can't judge a man before walking a mile in his shoes, and one lucky bidder can now do just that in disgraced attorney Tom Girardi's shaded brown crocodile Gucci Oxfords, thanks to an auction Wednesday of items from his Southern California mansion.

  • September 22, 2022

    Kreindler Sanctioned Over Deposition Leak In 9/11 MDL

    A New York federal magistrate judge has sanctioned Kreindler & Kreindler LLP and its former consultant over the leak of a deposition from multidistrict litigation over the 9/11 attacks, saying it was deliberately leaked to "embarrass" defendant Saudi Arabia.

  • September 22, 2022

    Special Master Orders Trump To Back Up Planted Docs Claim

    The court-appointed special master overseeing the review of documents seized from former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate ordered Trump on Thursday to back up claims he has made outside court that the FBI planted evidence at the property during the search.

  • September 22, 2022

    Baker Donelson Dodges Damage Theory In Surveillance Case

    A woman who says she settled injury claims for far less than they were worth after being illegally surveilled at the behest of an insurance company and lawyers from Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC cannot ask jurors to determine what she would have received had the case gone to trial, a Georgia state court judge has ruled.

  • September 22, 2022

    Ex-NJ Workers' Comp Judge Loses Bid To Return To Bench

    A New Jersey state judge has shot down a former workers' compensation judge's effort to return to the bench after Gov. Phil Murphy removed her over misconduct charges, finding that the ex-jurist has not shown that she would be irreparably harmed if not reinstated.

  • September 22, 2022

    Feds Drop Obstruction Case Against Mass. Judge

    Federal prosecutors on Thursday agreed to dismiss a politically charged criminal case against a Massachusetts state court judge accused of allowing an undocumented immigrant to evade custody when agents showed up to arrest him in the judge's courtroom.

  • September 21, 2022

    Jones' Lies Devastated Sandy Hook Victims, Jury Hears

    Family members of three people killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting testified Wednesday about the effects on their lives of Alex Jones' smears, with one saying the resulting flood of hateful messages was "swallowing me whole."

  • September 21, 2022

    Disbarred Atty Testifies He Bribed FBI Agent To Evade Probes

    A disbarred Beverly Hills attorney testifying in an ex-FBI agent's bribery trial told a California federal jury Wednesday that he paid the agent $10,000 per month in exchange for accessing restricted law enforcement information to see if he was being investigated for his illegal credit card schemes and marijuana growing operation.

Expert Analysis

  • AML Regulation Of Lawyers Is Imminent And Controversial

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    The U.S. House of Representatives' recently passed National Defense Authorization Act subjects lawyers engaged in certain financial-related activities to anti-money laundering regulation under the Bank Secrecy Act, which could pit lawyers against clients in ways harmful to the rule of law and administration of justice, says Jeremy Glicksman at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office in New York.

  • Key Adaptations For Law Firms Amid Quiet Quitting Movement

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    While quiet quitting may not be sustainable at law firms with billable hour requirements, there are specific steps law firms should take to maintain engagement and otherwise respond to the trend's underlying message that associates won't spend all their waking hours at work if they don't feel it's worthwhile, says Meredith Kahan at Whiteford Taylor.

  • 2nd Circ. Shkreli Atty Ruling Guides On 401(k) Garnishment

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    The Second Circuit’s recent holding that the government could garnish the 401(k) accounts of Martin Shkreli’s co-conspirator attorney shows that those facing criminal charges should prepare for the possibility that their retirement accounts may be subject to garnishment in order to satisfy restitution orders, say Brea Croteau and Edward Novak at Polsinelli.

  • Creating A Hybrid Work Policy? Be Intentional And Inclusive

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    The pandemic has changed expectations for the future of work forever, and as more employees demand hybrid working options, law firms must develop policies and models that are intentional, inclusive and iterative to lead the industry into the future, says Manar Morales at the Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

  • A Law Firm's Guide To Humane Layoffs As Recession Looms

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    Amid warnings of a global recession, law firms should prepare for the possibility of associate layoffs, aiming for an empathetic approach and avoiding common mistakes that make the emotional impact on departing attorneys worse, say Jarrett Green, a wellness consultant, and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey & Africa.

  • What AML Bill Could Mean For Firms, Funds And FinCEN

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    If passed, an amendment within Congress’ annual defense bill would expand the list of institutions subject to anti-money laundering regulations, from law firms to investment funds, creating potential rulemaking and enforcement challenges for the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, say attorneys at Arnold & Porter.

  • Learning From Trump And Bannon Discovery Strategies

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    Court-imposed sanctions on both former President Donald Trump and his former aide Steve Bannon for failing to comply with subpoenas illustrate that efforts to bar the door to valid discovery can quickly escalate, so litigants faced with challenging discovery disputes should adopt a pragmatic approach, say Mathea Bulander and Monica McCarroll at Redgrave.

  • Dropped FCPA Case Holds Key Reminder For Defense Attys

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    The U.S. Department of Justice’s recent decision, based on newly discovered evidence, to drop Foreign Corrupt Practices Act charges against two defendants involved in a Haitian port development project underscores the need for defense counsel to hold the DOJ to its own policies and precedents in all types of criminal cases, say attorneys at Miller & Chevalier.

  • The Risks In Lateral Hiring, And How To Avoid Them

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    As law firms increasingly recruit laterals, they must account for ethics rules and other due diligence issues that can turn an inadvisable or careless hire into a nightmare of lost opportunity or disqualification, says Mark Hinderks at Stinson.

  • Reading FARA Tea Leaves In Flynn Ex-Partner, Wynn Cases

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    The recent Foreign Agents Registration Act cases against Michael Flynn’s ex-business partner Bijan Rafiekian and casino mogul Steve Wynn show that the U.S. Department of Justice may test the statute's boundaries as it ramps up enforcement of foreign influence campaigns, say Richard Sofield and Peter Thomas at V&E.

  • Judges Who Use Social Media Must Know Their Ethical Limits

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    While the judiciary is permitted to use electronic social media, judges and judicial candidates should protect themselves from accusations of ethics violations by studying the growing body of ethics opinions and disciplinary cases centering on who judges connect with and how they behave online, says Justice Daniel Crothers at the North Dakota Supreme Court.

  • Rebuttal

    ABA Is Defending Profession's Values From Monied Influences

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    A recent Law360 guest article suggested that the American Bar Association ignored new opportunities for the legal industry by opposing nonlawyer ownership of law practices, but any advantages would be outweighed by the constraints nonlawyer owners could place on the independence that lawyers require to act in the best interest of their clients, says Stephen Younger at Foley Hoag.

  • 4th Circ. Underlines Immigration Judges' Standard Of Conduct

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    The Fourth Circuit's recent decision in Acevedo v. Garland that an immigration judge’s bad behavior is central when considering a request for a new hearing critically recognizes that the judge’s behavior determines whether a respondent can meaningfully participate in their proceeding, says Monica Mananzan at the CAIR Coalition.

  • How In-House Counsel Can Better Manage Litigation Exposure

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    In anticipation of economic downturn and increased litigation volume, the true struggle for an in-house team is allocating their very limited and valuable attentional resources, but the solution is building systems that focus attention where it can be most effective in delivering better outcomes, say Jaron Luttich and Sean Kennedy at Element Standard.

  • Practical E-Discovery Lessons From The Alex Jones Case

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    The accidental disclosure of mobile phone data during the Alex Jones defamation damages trial underlines the importance of having in place a repeatable e-discovery process that includes specific steps to prevent production of data that may be privileged, sensitive or damaging to the case, say Mike Gaudet and Richard Chung at J.S. Held.

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