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Legal Ethics

  • May 23, 2018

    Mass. Loan Officer Gets 6 Months For Short-Selling Homes

    A Massachusetts loan officer on Wednesday was sentenced by a federal judge to six months behind bars after admitting to taking part in what prosecutors dubbed a "sweeping conspiracy" to defraud banks and mortgage companies by short-selling houses.

  • May 23, 2018

    Sheppard Mullin Likely Out Of Atty's $4M Ponzi Scheme Suit

    A California judge on Wednesday tentatively dismissed a Los Angeles attorney's $4.3 million suit alleging that Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP committed legal malpractice and fraud by backing a Ponzi scheme, finding that the attorney waived his claims when he reached a deal in arbitration with the scammer.

  • May 23, 2018

    Powell Trachtman Faces OT Suit Amid Wind-Down

    A file clerk with Powell Trachtman PC has filed a proposed class action against the disbanding firm and several of its attorneys on behalf of its support staff, alleging that the firm does not pay file clerks, assistants and paralegals overtime.

  • May 22, 2018

    Investment Firm Wants To Split $580M Dallas Pension Fight

    Investment consulting firm The Townsend Group LLC has accused the Dallas Police and Fire Pension System of “transparent gamesmanship” in its lawsuit alleging the pension fund lost $580 million due to bad real estate investment advice, and wants the Texas Supreme Court to split up the case.

  • May 22, 2018

    King & Spalding Draws Rebuke In Bid To Toss Firing Suit

    A New York federal judge on Tuesday rejected King & Spalding LLP’s bid to escape allegations it fired an associate for raising ethical concerns about two partners, saying at a hearing she found it "incredibly hard" to buy the firm's stated reasons for terminating him.

  • May 22, 2018

    Ex-Penn State GC Fights Discipline Over Sandusky Probe

    An ex-Penn State University general counsel and former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice went before a disciplinary committee in Pittsburgh on Tuesday to fight allegations that she violated professional conduct rules in representing three school administrators who were eventually charged in connection with the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

  • May 22, 2018

    Fla. Attys Who Gave Rays Tickets To Judge Facing Probation

    A referee recommended Tuesday that the Florida attorneys who gave a judge Tampa Bay Rays baseball game tickets while litigating a case before him receive one year's probation and be required to speak to new attorneys about the incident.

  • May 22, 2018

    Eagan Avenatti Owes Ex-Partner $10M From Bankruptcy Deal

    A California bankruptcy judge on Tuesday entered a $10 million judgment against defunct class action law firm Eagan Avenatti LLP — which is owned by Michael Avenatti, the attorney representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her legal battle against President Donald Trump — finding the firm defaulted on its bankruptcy-resolving settlement with a former partner over allegedly unpaid fees.

  • May 22, 2018

    Atty Overbilling Suit Not Covered By Insurance: 10th Circ.

    The Tenth Circuit declined to revive a dispute between a Colorado foreclosure attorney and his insurance company, ruling that the lower court was right to find the company did not have to defend the lawyer from a class action over alleged overbilling.

  • May 22, 2018

    DC Circ. Says Mail Maneuver Fails To Erase $550K Tax Debt

    The D.C. Circuit thwarted an attorney’s attempt to avoid half a million dollars in taxes when it ruled Tuesday in favor of a Tax Court decision that a statute of limitations began when a notice was mailed, not when it was dated.

  • May 22, 2018

    Judge, Atty Didn't Tell Deportee Of Relief, Justices Told

    A green card holder urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to review his case alleging that he was unlawfully deported after both his lawyer and an immigration judge failed to inform him of all the relief he could seek, arguing that it has major implications for both removal proceedings and criminal prosecutions for illegal re-entry.

  • May 22, 2018

    Convicted Judge Says Mortgage Fraud Case On Shaky Ground

    An Illinois state judge convicted earlier this year in a $1.4 million mortgage fraud scheme appeared in court on Tuesday to reset the date of her sentencing while she argues that the government had not proved she intended to commit fraud.

  • May 22, 2018

    Book Authors Say Judge's Defamation Suit Ignores Context

    A Pennsylvania state judge’s “slanted” reading of a book about an infamous murder trial he oversaw fatally undermines allegations he was defamed by the authors as a defense-friendly hack and a drunk, the book's authors argued in a Monday federal filing.

  • May 22, 2018

    Pa. Firms Facing Incinerator Project Suit Blame Contractor

    Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot LLC and a financial firm both accused in a newly filed lawsuit of misleading the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, about an incinerator project that nearly sank the state capital under $360 million in debt are arguing that the project’s financial failure lies not with them, but with the construction company that couldn’t complete the project.

  • May 22, 2018

    Cup Maker Denies Atty Conflict In $25M Trade Secrets Suit

    Drinkware manufacturer Tervis Tumbler urged a Florida federal court Monday to deny a bid to disqualify its counsel Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP in a $25 million trade secrets case, saying there is no conflict from the firm's past representation of plaintiff Trinity Graphic on unrelated matters.

  • May 22, 2018

    Herrick Beats New Damages Bid In Suit Over Filing Deadlines

    A New York state judge on Tuesday rejected an investment group’s bid to void an arbitrator’s finding that Herrick Feinstein LLP owed no damages for allegedly bungling filing deadlines in a breach of contract suit alleging a trader used the group's funds for a "pump and dump" scheme.

  • May 22, 2018

    'Housewives' Star Moves Toward Deal In Malpractice Battle

    A once-incarcerated star of "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" and her bankruptcy trustee have called on a New Jersey federal bankruptcy court to dismiss her bankruptcy case in order to finalize a settlement in their malpractice action against her former attorney in state court.

  • May 21, 2018

    Florida Judge Up For Suspension Over Racial Slurs

    A Florida circuit court judge faces a 30-day suspension without pay after he used racial slurs to describe black defendants and family members in his courtroom, according to a recommendation from the Florida Judicial Qualifications Commission on Monday.

  • May 21, 2018

    Minn. Hospital Preserves Trial Win In Patient Stroke Suit

    A Minnesota appellate panel on Monday affirmed a verdict in favor of a hospital sued for causing a man’s stroke and seizure following emergency treatment, saying the trial judge properly allowed evidence that the man’s chronic alcohol abuse may have caused the stroke.

  • May 21, 2018

    After Kozinski, 9th Circ. Sets New Workplace Policies

    Months after the resignation of Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski following allegations of sexual harassment, the appellate circuit on which he sat rolled out a series of policy changes aimed at preventing workplace harassment for court employees, according to a statement Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • Best Practices For Building A Better Meeting

    Nicholas Cheolas

    How can we improve meetings in the legal industry, which tends to evolve with the speed of a tranquilized water buffalo mired in quicksand? Breaking it down to three phases can yield significant benefits, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • 5 Ways Law Firms Are Becoming More Like Hotels

    Bella Schiro

    One way law firms differentiate themselves from the competition to attract and retain top talent is through their real estate and workplace strategies. Taking a lead from the hospitality industry can help create a more inviting, welcoming and collaborative workspace environment, says Bella Schiro of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

  • Opinion

    Gorsuch's 1st Year Shows He Is A Conservative Activist

    Elliot Mincberg

    In his first year on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Neil Gorsuch has proven to be a narrow-minded elitist who consistently votes in favor of corporations and the powerful, acting to roll back protections for workers, consumers, LGBTQ individuals and other marginalized communities, says Elliot Mincberg of People for the American Way.

  • Opinion

    There Is Middle Ground For US Lawyers On AML Regimes

    Matthew O'Hara

    The American Bar Association continues to oppose legislation that would impose certain European Union and U.K. anti-money laundering requirements on U.S. lawyers. The ABA should further consider its approach to this issue as there is a viable middle ground that protects privileged communications and confidential information while advancing the interests of the legal profession, says Matthew O’Hara of Freeborn & Peters LLP.

  • Finance-Savvy Millennials Are Shifting Business Of Law

    Michael Perlich

    The impact of millennials has already been felt within the legal community by our eagerness to embrace new technologies. One way that we will have potentially even more impact lies in our willingness to embrace new ways of developing business and financing law, says Michael Perich of Burford Capital LLC.

  • Opinion

    Attorney-Client Privilege Is Alive And Well

    Genie Harrison

    The FBI raid of the office of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer set off a firestorm of controversy about the sanctity of the attorney-client privilege, epitomized by Trump's tweet that the "privilege is dead." But attorney-client privilege is never taken lightly — I have battle scars from the times I have sought crime-fraud exceptions, says Genie Harrison of the Genie Harrison Law Firm.

  • Roundup

    Dissolving Practice

    Dissolving Practice

    In this series, experts discuss the unique aspects of closing a law firm, and some common symptoms of dysfunctionality in a firm that can be repaired before it's too late.

  • Series

    Dissolving Practice: How To Fix A Dysfunctional Law Firm

    Larry Richard

    I am often asked, “When there are one or more partner departures, what can a firm do to prevent this from escalating to a catastrophic level?” The short answer is “nothing.” Law firms need to adopt culture-strengthening lifestyles to prevent defections from occurring in the first place, says Larry Richard of LawyerBrain LLC.

  • Attys Must Remember Duty Of Confidentiality When Online

    Trisha Rich

    In a recent opinion on lawyers' public online commentary, the American Bar Association noted that even when attorneys don't name clients, a breach of confidentiality can occur if a third party could deduce the client's identity. But state laws can differ, so lawyers must know their own jurisdictions' rules, say Trisha Rich and Allison Martin Rhodes of Holland & Knight LLP.

  • Series

    Dissolving Practice: Partner Agreement Clauses That Can Help

    ​​​​​Leslie Corwin

    Given the competing public policies of protecting clients’ right to counsel of their choice, lawyer mobility, and the fiduciary duty partners owe to a dissolved firm, it behooves law firms to carefully review their partnership agreements to make sure they adequately spell out what happens in the unfortunate event that the law firm chooses to wind down, say ​​​​​Leslie Corwin and Rachel Sims of Blank Rome LLP.