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Legal Ethics

  • January 30, 2015

    NCAA Antitrust Judge Recuses Self Over Butler U Trusteeship

    An Indiana federal judge on Thursday recused herself from overseeing an antitrust class action over the NCAA’s scholarship cap, granting the plaintiff’s motion to hand off the case because her position as a trustee of Butler University could divert attention from litigating the merits of the case.

  • January 30, 2015

    Calif. Judges Can Hear Some Cases They Worked On As ADAs

    California judges are not disqualified from presiding over cases in which they once appeared as deputy district attorneys, as long as the appearance was for a nonsubstantive matter such as an uncontested motion or scheduling conference, the state high court’s ethics committee declared in a formal opinion Thursday.

  • January 29, 2015

    Faruqi Accuser Tries To Revive Claims Against Co-Founders

    An ex-Faruqi & Faruqi LLP associate accusing partner Juan Monteverde of sexual assault urged a New York federal judge on Thursday to revive her claims against the firm's co-founders, arguing they can be held liable as employers despite a judge’s Wednesday ruling to the contrary.

  • January 29, 2015

    Duane Morris Partner Suspended By Fla. Bankruptcy Judge

    The Florida judge overseeing a shopping mall property’s bankruptcy suspended a Miami-based Duane Morris LLP partner for 90 days Wednesday for allegedly orchestrating a plan to fool the court into signing an “agreed order” that the opposing counsel hadn’t seen in an attempt to revive a $49 million real estate row.

  • January 29, 2015

    Schlumberger Wants Former In-House Atty DQ'd In Patent Row

    Schlumberger Ltd. asked a Texas federal judge to disqualify attorneys representing Parallel Separation Innovations LLC in its suit alleging Schlumberger infringed a shale drilling equipment patent, arguing Thursday that the oilfield company's former in-house counsel now working for PSI’s parent wasn't properly walled off from the case.

  • January 29, 2015

    Florida High Court Gives Immunity To Local Review Boards

    In an order Thursday, the Florida State Supreme Court gave civil immunity to the members and staffers of its Local Professionalism Panels, which hear local complaints about the professional conduct of attorneys.

  • January 29, 2015

    Simpson Thacher May Be Haunted By $1.5B Loan Gaffe

    While Mayer Brown LLP originated the paperwork error that doomed JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s secured interest in a $1.5 billion loan tied up in the General Motors Corp. bankruptcy, experts say the Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP team that missed the gaffe is a far more likely target for any resulting legal malpractice litigation.

  • January 29, 2015

    Frustrated Judge Rakoff Quits DOJ Forensic Science Panel

    U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff on Wednesday resigned from a federal commission charged with determining standards for forensic science in the courtroom after the Department of Justice blocked the committee from considering the subject of pretrial forensic discovery.

  • January 29, 2015

    NJ Judge Faces Ethics Accusations Over Contractor Charges

    A Foster & Mazzie LLC partner who serves as a municipal court judge in Totowa, New Jersey, has been accused of violating ethical standards by helping his family members pursue criminal charges against a home improvement contractor.

  • 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.