Legal Ethics

  • January 17, 2017

    Bio-Rad Fired GC For FCPA Leak, Jury Told At Trial’s Start

    A lawyer for Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc.’s ex-general counsel told a California federal jury during opening arguments in his retaliation suit Tuesday that the company fired him for blowing the whistle on its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act compliance in China, while Bio-Rad countered that he was an ill-tempered lawyer terminated for incompetence.

  • January 17, 2017

    Squire Nears Exit Of Suit Seeking Return Of $10M To City

    A California judge on Tuesday tentatively tossed a nonprofit’s suit claiming the city of West Covina unlawfully paid $10 million to Squire Patton Boggs LLP without the mayor’s signature for litigation over a car dealership land deal, saying the court can’t interfere with the city’s decision not to sue the firm.

  • January 17, 2017

    J-M Amici Want 'Paternalistic' Conflict Rule, Sheppard Says

    A band of companies and others opposing Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP’s appeal at the California Supreme Court of a $3.8 million fee forfeiture over an undisclosed conflict are “divorced from the realities of the modern legal marketplace” and ignore the benefits conflict waivers bestow on clients, the firm said in a Tuesday filing.

  • January 17, 2017

    Venable Beats DQ Bid In EB-5 Hopeful's Contract Fight

    A California judge on Tuesday refused to disqualify Venable LLP from defending a Los Angeles restaurateur in a Chinese EB-5 visa hopeful's suit alleging the restaurateur mismanaged his $1 million investment in two restaurants, saying Venable's use of purportedly privileged documents doesn't warrant disqualification.

  • January 17, 2017

    Philly DA Hit With Record Ethics Fine Over Income, Gifts

    Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams has been slapped with a $62,000 fine for failing to disclose income and gifts he received — some from criminal defense lawyers — in what officials Tuesday called the biggest civil penalty ever handed down by the city’s ethics board.

  • January 17, 2017

    Zohar Funds Sue Lynn Tilton’s Patriarch Partners

    Three collateralized loan obligation funds created by Patriarch Partners LLC magnate Lynn Tilton have gone after their founder, accusing her in a fraud suit filed Monday in New York federal court of mismanaging the Zohar funds and stealing more than $1 billion from them, putting them at risk of default.

  • January 17, 2017

    Linkwell Investor Says Sidley Can't Dodge 'Covert' Merger Row

    A Linkwell Corp. investor accusing certain subsidiaries and Sidley Austin LLP of securities misconduct asked a Florida federal court on Friday to deny an attempt by Sidley to dismiss the allegations against it, saying the firm designed and implemented the “covert” go-private merger.

  • January 17, 2017

    Indiana Prosecutor Sanctioned For Cop Murderer Book Deal

    The Indiana Supreme Court sanctioned an elected county prosecutor on Friday, finding that his attempt to secure a book deal related to the prosecution of a police officer’s murder trial interfered with his ability to represent the state in the case.

  • January 17, 2017

    SEC Ban On Convicted Atty Wrongfully Retroactive: DC Circ.

    A former attorney convicted in a wide-ranging securities fraud scheme challenging a lifetime industry ban saw his appeal granted on five of six fronts Tuesday when a D.C. Circuit panel found the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had incorrectly applied Dodd-Frank Act provisions retroactively.

  • January 17, 2017

    Ex-Akin Gump Atty's NY Bias Suit Nixed In Favor Of DC Case

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday tossed a former Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP attorney's $17.3 million discrimination lawsuit against the firm, saying a similar complaint filed prior to this one in the District of Columbia negates her claims.

  • January 17, 2017

    Green Dot Atty Faces DQ Bid In Prepaid Card Fraud Suit

    A proposed class of consumers suing Green Dot Corp. and the retailers that sold its reloadable prepaid cards for fraud told a federal judge in Texas Monday that it should disqualify the firm Tillotson Law from representing Green Dot because it didn't tell the other retail defendants about a settlement offer.

  • January 17, 2017

    Gambler Says FBI Leaks Ruin Insider Trading Case

    Prominent sports gambler Billy Walters on Friday asked a New York federal judge to dismiss an insider trading case against him — which also ensnared pro golfer Phil Mickelson — saying his rights were violated by a rogue FBI agent who leaked details of the investigation to the press.

  • January 17, 2017

    Dewey Execs Blast DA's Bid To Limit Star Witness Questions

    Two former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP executives have shot back at a bid by the Manhattan district attorney’s office to limit cross-examination of a cooperating witness in the upcoming retrial over alleged accounting fraud, saying they have a right to explore whether the witness is “shading his testimony to curry favor.” 

  • January 13, 2017

    Bayer Gets Freebie As Atty Neglect Sinks Yasmin Suit

    The Seventh Circuit on Friday threw out one of the many cases alleging Bayer Corp.’s birth control pill Yasmin causes blood clots because the attorneys running the case admittedly did "mostly nothing" for a year and a half.

  • January 13, 2017

    NJ Atty Suspended For Paralegal's Theft Of Client Funds

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has imposed a retroactive, reciprocal one-year suspension on an attorney who was disciplined in New York after her secretary stole from her real estate client escrow account, according to an order and decision posted Friday.

  • January 13, 2017

    Pa. Atty Denied Reargument On $45K Sanction Appeal

    A Pennsylvania attorney who received a nearly $45,000 sanction for sending a purportedly intimidating letter to the employer of an opponent’s expert witness in a medical malpractice case was prevented on Thursday from rearguing an appeal of the sanction to the state’s Superior Court.

  • January 13, 2017

    Dewey Execs Trying To Mislead Jury, Prosecutors Say

    The Manhattan district attorney’s office pushed back Friday at requests by attorneys for two former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP executives for wide latitude in their cross-examination of the star cooperating witness in the upcoming retrial over alleged accounting fraud at the defunct law firm, saying the defense aims to mislead the upcoming jury.

  • January 13, 2017

    Laser Maker's CEO, Attys Face Suit Over Share Increase

    The CEO of a laser weapons manufacturer and his lawyers padded their wallets by issuing millions of company shares despite the move never gaining investor approval and jeopardized potential projects with the U.S. Department of Defense, according to a derivative shareholder suit filed in Delaware Chancery Court on Friday.

  • January 13, 2017

    Feds Tell Justices To Deny Ex-Dick's Atty's Forfeiture Appeal

    The federal government on Friday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a bid by a former Dick's Sporting Goods attorney for review of the Second Circuit’s affirmation of a $1.3 million forfeiture order arising from his conviction for sending kickbacks to another lawyer.

  • January 13, 2017

    Ex-Wis. Judges Call For Tough Campaign Recusal Rule

    More than 50 former Wisconsin judges have called on the state Supreme Court for “objective standard” recusal rules for judges who take campaign contributions.

Expert Analysis

  • Amended Rule 37(e): 1 Year Later

    Samantha Southall

    After a full year in effect, the amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) has been tested in a variety of district courts. A sampling of these decisions reveals that courts seem to be adhering closely to the amended rule and ordering adverse inference instructions only where there was intent to deprive another party of access to relevant information, say Carrie Amezcua and Samantha Southall of Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC.

  • Avoiding The Hidden Costs Of Bargain-Priced E-Discovery

    Michael Cousino

    Many organizations are interested in finding electronic discovery partners who offer tantalizingly low prices for electronic discovery services. However, unforeseen gaps, lax security practices, ignorance of global practices and delayed deliverables can all add up to a surprisingly large final cost, says Michael Cousino of Epiq Systems.

  • Examining Preponderance-Of-Evidence Standard At 7th Circ.

    Cinthia Granados Motley

    In Ramirez v. T&H Lemont, the Seventh Circuit recently reasoned that when sanctioning a party’s misconduct under inherent authority or Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, a preponderance of evidence is sufficient. The decision will no doubt extend beyond the requisite proof for discovery-related sanctions and misconduct and provide guidance on the applicable burden of proof in other contexts, say attorneys at Sedgwick LLP.

  • Saving Lawyers 1 Breath At A Time: Mindfulness In The Law

    Jennifer Gibbs

    As critical as lawyers are to society, they are reported to be the most frequently depressed occupational group in the United States. In response to the inherently stressful nature of the practice of law, more and more lawyers are turning to an ancient contemplative practice called “mindfulness,” says Jennifer Gibbs of Zelle LLP.

  • Understanding How Blockchain Could Impact Legal Industry

    R. Douglas Vaughn

    Blockchain is essentially a computerized public ledger that can apply to almost anything that a person might save into a database or spreadsheet. This versatile technology may enhance the legal industry by providing an improved record keeping system, setting up "smart contracts" and tracking intellectual property and land records, say R. Douglas Vaughn and Anna Outzen of Deutsch Kerrigan LLP.

  • California Legal Bills: Privileged Until They Aren’t?

    Steven Fleischman

    Given the problems with the California Supreme Court’s decision in Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, the California Legislature should adopt a legislative fix to explicitly protect attorney invoices in both pending and completed litigation from disclosure under the attorney-client privilege, say members of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • Talking 'Bull': Episode 10, E.J.

    Roy Futterman

    In this weekly column, real-life New York City jury consultant and psychologist Roy Futterman parses fact from fiction in "Bull," the new TV series airing on CBS about a fictional NYC jury consultant/psychologist. Spoiler alert ...

  • Be Prepared For Law Firm Data Breach Litigation

    Scott Vernick

    The April 2016 leak of "Panama Papers" documents from law firm Mossack Fonseca removed any doubt that the threat of cyberattacks against the legal industry is more than hypothetical. While the case law on law firm data breach litigation has largely yet to be written, there are certain fundamental tenets worth reviewing, say Scott Vernick and Peter Buckley of Fox Rothschild LLP.

  • 7 Legal Industry Predictions For 2017

    Haley Altman

    Since 2008, the legal relationship dynamic has consistently evolved, leading clients to demand more "value" for services received. In 2017, investment in and adoption of new technology and prioritizing cybersecurity will lead to an increase in billable hours and shifts in realization rates, says Haley Altman of Doxly.

  • 6 Key Commercial Litigation Finance Trends For 2017

    Ralph J. Sutton

    With commercial litigation funding gaining acceptance throughout the U.S., law firms and corporations are investigating how they can benefit from the capital that funders provide, and which criteria they should use in selecting a funder. Ralph Sutton, chief investment officer of Bentham IMF, discusses several major trends to watch in 2017.