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Legal Ethics

  • January 29, 2015

    Brown Rudnick Gets Partial Win In Malpractice Fight

    A New York federal judge on Wednesday gave Brown Rudnick LLP a partial win in its malpractice dispute with former client Surgical Orthomedics Inc. over a $3.3 million arbitration award, ruling SOI can’t add a termination with cause claim but can allege a new ethics violation.

  • January 29, 2015

    Wash. Developer Hit With $1M Atty Fee For ‘Abuse’ Of Process

    A Washington state court hit developer Prium Companies LLC Wednesday with a sanction of $1.1 million in attorneys’ fees and costs for what the judge called a “gross abuse of judicial process” in a dispute with its former real estate partner over ownership of a bankrupt Spokane office complex.

  • January 29, 2015

    False DaVita Testimony Jeopardizing Privilege In FCA Suit

    A Georgia federal judge has ordered the review of communications between defense lawyers and witnesses in a False Claims Act suit against DaVita Inc. for allegedly seeking reimbursement on intentionally overused dialysis drugs, after finding the witnesses may have been coached to change their testimony.

  • January 29, 2015

    Texas Court Nixes $1.3B Malpractice Claim In Chevron Case

    A Texas court on Thursday withdrew its order granting an asphalt company's appeal to reinstate a $1.3 billion malpractice claim against the law firm of late trial attorney John M. O'Quinn and now-appellate court Judge Russell T. Lloyd for allegedly mishandling a pollution suit against Chevron US Inc., finding that it lacked jurisdiction.

  • January 29, 2015

    Nixon Peabody, Mintz Levin Using Barred Defense, Court Told

    Nixon Peabody LLP and Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo PC cannot kill a malpractice suit by saying the plaintiff is as guilty as the law firms in failing to stop a former executive's alleged illegal fundraising because applicable state laws prohibit the defense, now-bankrupt biotech company Neogenix Oncology Inc. argued Wednesday.

  • January 29, 2015

    Patterson Belknap Escapes DQ In Mexican Auto Parts JV Row

    Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP dodged disqualification Wednesday after an Illinois federal judge found the firm’s client, a Mexican auto parts manufacturing joint venture, may not have needed board approval, as its opponents argued, to hire the firm as outside counsel to sling a contract lawsuit against its parent company.

  • January 28, 2015

    Court Approval Required For Mediation, Texas Judge Says

    A Texas bankruptcy judge ruled Wednesday that mediators get no exception from rules requiring court approval for the hiring of "professionals," especially because mediators are often ex-judges whose participation could otherwise look like cronyism.

  • January 28, 2015

    Ala. Chief Justice Faces Ethics Case Over Marriage Letter

    Alabama Chief Justice Roy S. Moore faces an ethics complaint filed Wednesday over a letter to the state’s governor that quoted both the Bible and the Constitution in saying that he would not recognize same-sex marriages despite a federal court ruling last week.

  • January 28, 2015

    Salacious Faruqi Trial Showcases No-Frills NY Judge

    U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein is playing a central role in the sexual assault trial against Faruqi & Faruqi LLP, controlling the flow of evidence to jurors, upbraiding attorneys when they push witnesses too far and using his signature wit to lighten the mood in an otherwise ugly case.

  • January 28, 2015

    Estate Can Sue Atty Over Handling Of Trusts: Texas Court

    A Texas woman overseeing a couple’s estate can sue an attorney for malpractice in the handling of trusts the couple established while they were alive, but not for any conduct that occurred under another administrator's control of the estate, a Texas appellate court ruled Wednesday.

  • January 28, 2015

    Silver Arrest Could Complicate 421-A Renewal Talks

    In New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's recent indictment, a controversial property tax abatement program known as 421-a was implicated in the federal bribery and kickback charges. Now, some experts say the implications and Silver's arrest could throw a wrench in the program's renewal negotiations this summer.

  • January 28, 2015

    Ex-NY Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver Departs Law Firm

    Personal-injury law firm Weitz & Luxenberg PC said Wednesday it had asked former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to depart from the firm in the wake of charges that he received millions from Weitz & Luxenberg and an unnamed real estate tax firm without performing any legal work.

  • January 28, 2015

    Hagens Berman Didn't Verify Thalidomide Claim, Court Told

    GlaxoSmithKline LLC and other defendants asked a Pennsylvania federal judge Monday to dismiss a man’s suit claiming that thalidomide caused his birth defects and asked for sanctions against his counsel, saying that Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP never checked whether his mother had taken the morning-sickness drug.

  • January 28, 2015

    Faruqi Co-Founders Off Hook In Sex Assault Trial

    A New York federal judge narrowed a lawsuit Wednesday brought by an ex-Faruqi & Faruqi LLP associate allegedly sexually assaulted by partner Juan Monteverde, letting the firm's co-founders off the hook but allowing hostile work environment allegations against Monteverde and the firm to move forward.

  • January 28, 2015

    Wis. High Court Disbars Atty Famous For Armored Car Suit

    A Wisconsin attorney thrust into the national spotlight last fall for representing an elderly couple whose farm implements were seized by local officials using an armed vehicle has been disbarred, according to a Wednesday state Supreme Court decision.

  • January 28, 2015

    US Supreme Court To Disclose Lawyer Discipline Docs

    The U.S. Supreme Court is making the process by which it pursues disciplinary action against members of the high court bar more transparent, announcing on Tuesday that previously confidential attorney responses to show cause orders will become publicly available as of Feb. 1.

  • January 27, 2015

    Corruption Charges Cost Silver Top NY Assembly Post

    New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, facing federal corruption charges, said Tuesday night he would relinquish his powerful leadership post as a plan emerged for Democratic Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle to assume the speakership at least on a temporary basis.

  • January 27, 2015

    Calif. Judge Must Rethink Immigrant’s Claim Over Atty Advice

    A California appeals court on Tuesday ordered a lower court to reconsider a permanent resident's bid to withdraw a felony guilty plea that triggered a deportation order after he argued his lawyer told him he could stay in the country, ruling the judge failed to explain himself.

  • January 27, 2015

    Employment Atty Accused Of Groping Worker Can't Hide Name

    A California judge on Tuesday rejected a bid by the former managing partner of an employment dispute-focused law firm accused of groping an employee to use a pseudonym or seal the case record, ruling the attorney’s reputation isn’t more important than the constitutional right to court access.

  • January 27, 2015

    Fla. Bar Says Attys Can Advise Clients On Social Media Posts

    The Professional Ethics Committee of the Florida Bar recently issued a proposed advisory opinion determining that attorneys can advise clients to “clean up” their social media pages before litigation is filed to remove embarrassing information.