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Legal Ethics

  • August 8, 2018

    Settlement Breach Suit Over $50M Aflac Demand Can Proceed

    A Georgia federal court has decided to allow a suit alleging that a woman breached a 25-year-old settlement agreement by sharing details about her original claims with an attorney handling a different suit against Aflac Inc., who then threatened further legal action against the insurance company unless it paid $50 million.

  • August 8, 2018

    Napoli Bern Insurer Wants Out Of $4M Award In Atty Fee Spat

    An insurer for the now-defunct asbestos plaintiffs giant Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik LLP wants a New York federal judge to say it won’t have to pay a $4 million-plus arbitration award for a Los Angeles lawyer who accused the firm of cutting him out of lucrative case referral fees.

  • August 8, 2018

    Immigration Judges File Grievance Over DOJ's Case Transfers

    The union representing America’s immigration judges accused the Department of Justice on Wednesday of violating principles of judicial independence when it allegedly pressured a Philadelphia judge to either close a missing juvenile immigrant’s case or deport him and then reassigned the case and dozens of others to different judges.

  • August 8, 2018

    Attys Shake Malpractice Suit Over $20M Arbitration Losses

    A Texas state appellate court declined on Wednesday to revive a petroleum engineer’s suit against the attorneys he claimed cost him an extra $20 million in losses after representing him in an underlying arbitration, saying that the lower court was right to find the engineer’s expert was introduced too late.

  • August 7, 2018

    Cadwalader Can't Call Legal Experts In Malpractice Trial

    Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP can’t call experts in a legal malpractice trial brought by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, after a New York judge found that none of the determinations a jury would have to make require specialized knowledge.

  • August 7, 2018

    W.Va. Panel Votes to Impeach All State High Court Justices

    Members of a West Virginia legislative committee voted Tuesday to impeach all four sitting state Supreme Court justices for “unnecessary and lavish” spending of taxpayer money on high-priced office upgrades and other alleged violations of their oaths of office.

  • August 7, 2018

    ABA Opposes Forced Arbitration Of Sex Harassment Claims

    American Bar Association delegates on Tuesday approved a resolution calling on law firms and other legal employers to eschew requirements that people with claims of sexual harassment go to arbitration.

  • August 7, 2018

    Silver Again Seeks Bail During Appeal Of 2nd Conviction

    Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Monday again sought a reprieve from prison while he appeals his second conviction on corruption charges, claiming the trial court wrongly told jurors that no quid pro quo deal needed to be proven to find the formerly powerful Empire State politician guilty of bribery.

  • August 7, 2018

    1st Circ. Affirms Ex-Puerto Rico Judge's Bribery Conviction

    The First Circuit on Monday affirmed a jury’s verdict convicting a former Puerto Rican judge of taking bribes in exchange for acquitting an attorney accused of causing a fatal car crash while drunk, ruling there was sufficient evidence the judge knowingly engaged in a bribery scheme.

  • August 7, 2018

    AgaMatrix Gets $1.3M Fees From Dexcom's Failed IP Suit

    A California federal judge has ruled that diabetes glucose monitoring company Dexcom Inc. must pay rival AgaMatrix Inc. more than $1.3 million in fees after proceeding with patent infringement litigation that bordered on bad faith.

  • August 7, 2018

    Law Firm's Site Covered By Fair Report Privilege, Panel Says

    A Washington state appeals court has affirmed a lower court's dismissal of a woman's defamation suit against a law firm for summarizing on its website allegations against her from a wrongful death suit filed by firm clients, ruling the statements are covered by the same fair report privilege afforded to news organizations.

  • August 7, 2018

    Atty Says Ex-King & Spalding Lawyer Won't Settle With Firm

    A former King & Spalding LLP associate accusing the firm of firing him for reporting ethics violations is less willing to settle the case than he's let on, his attorney said Monday while pressing a bid for a lien on the associate, who the attorney claims has stopped paying legal bills and refuses to cut a deal.

  • August 6, 2018

    NY Law Firm Settles Former ALJ's Due-Process Claims

    The New York law firm Raff & Becker received court approval Monday to settle a former high-ranking administrative judge's claims that it conspired to retaliate against him after he reported the alleged diversion of funds meant for unemployment claims hearings.

  • August 6, 2018

    Gov’t Seeks To DQ Orrick In Fitbit Trade Secrets Case

    The government asked a California federal judge to disqualify Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, which is representing a former Fitbit Inc. employee accused of stealing trade secrets from another previous employer, Jawbone, saying that the firm's previous representation of other defendants in the case presents a conflict of interest.

  • August 6, 2018

    NJ Firm Ducks Malpractice Action Over Fall Case

    The New Jersey law firm Dario Yacker properly won summary judgment in a suit brought by an unsatisfied personal injury client stemming from a 2009 fall, an appeals court ruled Monday, saying there was no evidence of negligence on the firm's part.

  • August 6, 2018

    Alsup Fears 'Mistake' In OK'ing $125M LendingClub Deal

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup expressed regret Monday for approving a $125 million deal ending securities class actions against LendingClub Corp., saying “he may have made a mistake” since he learned the parties “have gotten away” with releasing claims beyond the litigation’s allegations.

  • August 6, 2018

    ABA Delegates Back Revamp Of Attorney Advertising Rules

    The American Bar Association's House of Delegates overwhelmingly approved a sweeping set of changes to the rules governing lawyer advertising and client solicitation in a voice vote Monday in Chicago.

  • August 6, 2018

    Labaton, Thornton Want Special Master Out Of Fee Dispute

    A special master who suggested a team of lawyers overbilled a class of 1,300 institutional State Street clients by at least $10 million has no authority to chime in when the law firms criticize the findings, Labaton Sucharow LLP and Thornton Law Firm LLP argued Monday.

  • August 6, 2018

    Co. Tries To Duck Claims It Scammed 9/11 First Responders

    RD Legal, a settlement advance company accused of scamming injured NFL players and ailing 9/11 first responders out of millions, has asked a federal court to toss the New York attorney general’s suit against it after the same court issued a head-turning ruling in June finding the Consumer Financial Protection Act unconstitutional.

  • August 6, 2018

    Fla. Bar Seeks Discipline Against South Fla. IP Atty

    The Florida Bar has filed a formal complaint for reciprocal discipline against a South Florida patent attorney who was suspended for eight months before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for allegedly mishandling and abandoning a client's patent application.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • How Attorney Discipline Is Evolving In The #MeToo Era

    Bonnie Frost

    In March, the American Bar Association issued a manual to help legal employers and victims fight sexual harassment in the legal profession. While automatic disbarment for sexual misconduct with clients may have been considered too harsh a sanction almost a decade ago, it may be revisited in the current climate, say Bonnie Frost and Kristi Terranova of Einhorn Harris Ascher Barbarito & Frost PC.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Hood Reviews 'Lawyering From The Inside Out'

    Judge Denise Hood

    Law professor Nathalie Martin's new book, "Lawyering From the Inside Out: Learning Professional Development Through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence," can be of value to any lawyer aiming to achieve greater productivity, relieve the stress of the legal profession and focus on goals, says U.S. District Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan.

  • Series

    High Crimes And Misdemeanors: Making Political Judgments

    Laurence Tribe

    Presidential impeachment exists not so that one party can decapitate the other, but to preserve the foundation of our democracy. For an impeachment to be legitimate, it must be a fair process in which Congress speaks for a majority of the American people in undoing an election, say Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School and Joshua Matz of Gupta Wessler PLLC.

  • 3 Top E-Discovery Case Law Lessons Of 2018 (So Far)

    Casey Sullivan

    The blockbuster e-discovery cases, with big sanctions and bigger controversies, have been few and far between this year. But that doesn’t mean the legal questions around e-discovery have been answered. Let’s take a closer look at three cases worthy of our attention, says Casey Sullivan, an attorney at discovery technology provider Logikcull.

  • Opinion

    Law Schools Must Take A Stand Against Mandatory Arbitration

    Isabel Finley

    Later this week, Harvard Law students will begin bidding on interview slots with the nation’s top law firms. Our institutions owe it to their students not only to require firms to disclose mandatory arbitration provisions in new associate contracts, but also to bar employers from on-campus recruiting if they require these provisions, says Isabel Finley, a third-year student at Harvard Law School and president of the Harvard Women’s Law Association.

  • Series

    High Crimes And Misdemeanors: 'Manifest Injury' Is Key

    Barbara Radnofsky

    Under the U.S. Constitution, impeachment requires no charging of crime, no intent to do wrong and no lawbreaking. Rather, impeachment focuses on significance of effect. President Bill Clinton's 1998 impeachment was a clear demonstration of the differences between criminal and impeachment prosecution, says attorney Barbara Radnofsky.

  • Series

    High Crimes And Misdemeanors: A View From The #MeToo Era

    Elizabeth Rapaport

    The #MeToo movement has called attention to something that feminists avoided focusing on during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton — something the law is not very good at capturing. “Consent” may be obtained under varying kinds and degrees of coercive conditions. And it can be refused at a high cost, says Elizabeth Rapaport of the University of New Mexico School of Law.