Legal Ethics

  • May 11, 2018

    Class Counsel In Dow Pollution Suit Want Attys Sanctioned

    Lead class counsel representing residents who inked a $375 million settlement with Dow Chemical Co. and another company in a nuclear pollution lawsuit urged the Tenth Circuit to sanction three individual attorneys who claim they were denied a share of $150 million in fees for their work, calling their appeal frivolous.

  • May 11, 2018

    Atty Asks Texas Justices To Ax Sanction For Jury 'Push Poll'

    A Texas lawyer sanctioned for commissioning what a trial judge found was a highly prejudicial “push poll” phone survey intended to sway potential jurors has told the Texas Supreme Court the ruling exposes litigators to sanctions for typical pretrial practices like mock trials.

  • May 11, 2018

    Feds Slam Mobster's Request For Atty Investigation Info

    The information Lucchese crime family mobster Salvatore Pelullo is seeking about the prosecution of the money-laundering allegations against his former defense attorney and his own racketeering conviction isn’t going to help his bid for a new trial because it's irrelevant to his case, the federal government told Pelullo’s current counsel Friday.

  • May 11, 2018

    Paint Org Urges Atty Sanctions In 'Doomed' Antitrust Suit

    A nonprofit paint industry organization that works to recycle unused paint has moved for sanctions in California federal court against the counsel for a defunct Bay Area paint recycler suing over an alleged antitrust conspiracy, saying the attorneys pursued state claims long after they should have known the case was “doomed.”

  • May 11, 2018

    Pa. Court Axes Duane Morris Malpractice Suit Rehearing Bid

    A Pennsylvania appeals court has said it won’t hear reargument after agreeing that an attorney did not have standing to pursue claims against Duane Morris LLP for allegedly botching its work on a case over a failed deal to acquire an undersea fiber-optic network.

  • May 11, 2018

    Texas Law Firm's Privacy Invasion Win Against Atty Reversed

    A Texas appellate court has held that state law doesn't recognize that corporations have a right to privacy, and reversed a jury's verdict in favor of a Houston law firm that argued an attorney invaded its privacy by using the firm name without permission.

  • May 11, 2018

    Cohen Knew Of Schneiderman Abuse Claims In '13, Atty Says

    A New York lawyer who counseled two women who say they were abused by former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told Law360 on Friday that President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen knew about the matter as early as 2013 and assured him that year that Trump would "revisit the matter" if Trump were to become governor.

  • May 11, 2018

    Ex-NY Assembly Speaker Convicted After 2nd Graft Trial

    Former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was convicted Friday for the second time for reaping what prosecutors say was a quid pro quo in which Silver accepted millions of dollars in illicit referral fees from developers and an asbestos disease doctor and took official action on their behalf.

  • May 11, 2018

    Boston Firm Dumping, Suing Ex-Client ‘Feels Wrong’: Judge

    A Massachusetts federal judge on Friday said she was "troubled" by Boston intellectual property law firm Sunstein Kann Murphy & Timbers LLP dropping a longtime software client so it could represent its rival in a patent suit.

  • May 11, 2018

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Who Shot Wife Couldn't Escape Paper Trail

    Fulton County, Georgia, prosecutors trying to prove that a former Fisher Phillips LLP partner’s shooting of his wife was no accident flooded the jury with painstaking detail from both eyewitnesses and the wealthy couple’s paper trail to establish that he had a financial motive to kill his wife, securing a murder conviction.

  • May 10, 2018

    Law360's The Week in Discipline

    A Michigan lawyer suspended over a fight with a police officer and a Florida attorney who traded legal work for a share of a client's sports car lead Law360's The Week In Discipline, which compiles sanctions and conduct charges that may have flown under the radar.

  • May 10, 2018

    Atty Traded Drugs For Sex At Men’s Sober Home: Mass. AG

    A Reading, Massachusetts, attorney who owns a sober home for men fighting substance abuse has been accused in state court of trading legal work, drugs and money for sex, Massachusetts' attorney general said Thursday.

  • May 10, 2018

    For-Profit Law School Sues ABA Over Enforcement Action

    Florida Coastal School of Law filed suit Thursday against the American Bar Association, which recently determined the school had failed to meet ABA standards, saying the association’s enforcement actions have been inconsistent, its standards are vague and that the action against Florida Coastal was an “attack on diversity.”

  • May 10, 2018

    SEC Says Calif. Atty Was Unregistered In EB-5 Dealings

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that a California attorney specializing in immigration facilitated investments in the EB-5 program for foreigners seeking U.S. visas without registering as a broker, ordering him to pay back the unlawful commissions he received.

  • May 10, 2018

    Attys Who Sued Hastert In FCA Row Spared Sanctions

    Attorneys representing a would-be whistleblower in a False Claims Act suit against former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert will not be sanctioned for filing the suit after settling the dispute with Hastert, an Illinois federal judge ruled Wednesday.

  • May 10, 2018

    Md. Atty Again Disciplined For Hiding Previous Suspension

    A Maryland appeals court on Thursday upheld an attorney’s indefinite suspension for failing to inform a client he was suspended because of a separate matter and for his continued work on the client’s personal injury case thereafter, despite his claim he was only assisting his client in finishing the job.

  • May 10, 2018

    Cohen Says Avenatti's Report Should Block Him From Court

    Lawyers for Michael Cohen urged a Manhattan federal judge Wednesday to reject Michael Avenatti’s bid to appear in the case that began after last month’s government raid on Cohen’s office, arguing the attorney representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels tried to bash the attorney who’s represented President Donald Trump by publishing Cohen’s bank records.

  • May 10, 2018

    Atty Who Sexted Client’s 14-Year-Old Suspended For 3 Years

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has suspended an attorney from the state bar through October 2020 for allegedly sending nude photos and videos to the 14-year-old daughter of his former client.

  • May 10, 2018

    Law Firm Cites Mulvaney In 9th Circ. Challenge To CFPB

    A California law firm that’s asking the Ninth Circuit to free it from a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau civil investigative demand pressed its challenge to the constitutionality of the agency’s structure on Wednesday, citing recent criticism from CFPB acting Director Mick Mulvaney that the agency he leads “is far too powerful.”

  • May 10, 2018

    Andrews Kurth Beats Malpractice Appeal In Real Estate Fight

    A Texas appellate court has affirmed the dismissal of American Realty Trust Inc.’s claims the former Andrews Kurth LLP gave it bad advice about backing out of a late-1990s apartment complex acquisition deal, finding the claims time-barred.

Expert Analysis

  • There Is A Cognitive Science Behind Big Jury Verdicts

    Dennis.Stolle

    In most trials with large verdicts, the jury award is determined by multiple factors, including the facts of the case, strength of evidence, bias, emotion and jury instructions. However, we should not disregard the effect on jurors of the cognitive limits conceptualizing large numbers, say Dennis Stolle and Amit Patel of ThemeVision LLC, a jury research and litigation consulting firm affiliated with Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • Opinion

    BigLaw Doesn't Have A Diversity Problem

    Marlen Whitley

    Although the lack of racial and gender diversity among the ranks of the majority of both midsized and top law firms is a major issue, it’s past time to shed light on the real problem — inclusion, or lack thereof, says Marlen Whitley of Reed Smith LLP.

  • The Importance Of Attorney Etiquette In The Courtroom

    Christina Marinakis

    It’s difficult to say whether an attorney’s social etiquette has any impact on the verdict outcome, but the fact that jurors continually tell us about counsel’s irksome behaviors suggests that, at the very least, these behaviors distract jurors from the issues on which they should be concentrating, says Christina Marinakis, director of jury research at Litigation Insights.

  • Opinion

    Roman J. Israel, Esquire, Meet Donald J. Trump, POTUS

    Kevin Curnin

    Despite the Trump administration's desire to shut down the Legal Services Corp., thankfully the budget that Congress passed and the president signed into law last week has restored $410 million of funding to the legal aid organization. An unlikely brief for preserving LSC may be found in the quirky Denzel Washington film "Roman J. Israel, Esq.," says Kevin Curnin, immediate past president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel.

  • Opinion

    We Need A Cybersecurity Framework For Law Firms

    Shaun Jamison

    In order to enable lawyers to best meet cybersecurity challenges, state bars should pass rules that adopt a cybersecurity framework to be developed by a national committee, says Shaun Jamison, associate dean of faculty and professor at Purdue University's Concord Law School.

  • Equity Partnership Isn’t What It Used To Be

    Jeff Liebster

    To many young attorneys, becoming an equity partner shows a firm's long-term commitment, meaning job security and a voice in important firm matters. However, the industry has changed and nowadays it may not be better to enter a new firm as an equity partner, says Jeffrey Liebster of Major Lindsey & Africa.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Hardiman Reviews 'Without Precedent'

    Judge Thomas Hardiman

    In his new book, "Without Precedent: Chief Justice John Marshall and His Times," professor Joel Richard Paul ably explains more than a dozen of Marshall’s most significant opinions, which comes as no surprise​. ​What is a surprise — a pleasant one — is the book's readability, says Judge Thomas Hardiman of the Third Circuit.

  • Top Tax Changes For Law Firms: What Lawyers Need To Know

    Evan Morgan

    For law firms structured as corporations, a lower maximum corporate tax rate and repeal of the corporate alternative minimum tax are good news. But many law firms are pass-through entities, so deduction limitations mean they'll see less benefit from the new tax law, says Evan Morgan of CPA and advisory firm Kaufman Rossin PA.

  • Opinion

    Companies Should Avoid The BigLaw Bonus Structure

    Michael Moradzadeh

    Since passage of the Trump tax plan last year, companies have been touting bonuses they’ve handed down to rank-and-file employees. This highlights the trend of employers favoring bonuses over pay raises in the belief that variable, short-term rewards are less risky to the business than permanent increases in labor costs. But law firms have used this strategy for years — and there are dangers, says Michael Moradzadeh of Rimon PC.

  • Chief Innovation Officer — The New Star On Legal Teams

    Mark Williamson

    Over the past few years, forward-thinking law firms have expanded their talent pools to include a chief innovation officer, whose responsibilities include spearheading the implementation of technology. It is a smart move, says ​​​​​​​Mark Williamson, co-founder and chief technology officer at Hanzo Archives Ltd.