Legal Ethics

  • May 16, 2018

    Ex-IRS Atty Cops To Using Unauthorized Agency ID Card

    A former U.S. Internal Revenue Service attorney has admitted in New Jersey federal court to possessing an unauthorized federal agency identification card and displaying it during multiple traffic stops, according to authorities.

  • May 16, 2018

    Novartis GC Steps Down After News Of Cohen Payments

    The group general counsel of pharmaceutical company Novartis AG stepped down on Wednesday, the Swiss drugmaker said in a press release, in the wake of news reports that the business made monthly payments to an organization owned by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

  • May 15, 2018

    Litigation Funder Gets Appellate Fees After 3rd Circ. Win

    An appellate court judge agreed Tuesday to grant a New Jersey man’s litigation funder $30,000 to cover its appellate legal bills after the Third Circuit had affirmed as valid his deal with the company that backed a malpractice case he brought against Reed Smith LLP.

  • May 15, 2018

    Shuttered NC Law School Sues ABA Over Enforcement Action

    Charlotte School of Law sued the American Bar Association in North Carolina federal court Tuesday, claiming that enforcement actions by the organization related to law school accreditation violated the due process rights of the for-profit college and led to its closure last year.

  • May 15, 2018

    Widower Says Court Should Have Let Him Fix Engle Suit Error

    A smoker's widower urged the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday to review an appeal's court's finding that he cannot amend and pursue an Engle progeny lawsuit mistakenly filed in his wife's name after she had already died, saying it directly conflicts with case law.

  • May 15, 2018

    Surgery Patient Can't Advance Atty 'Collusion' Suit

    A federal judge in Missouri has dismissed a legal malpractice suit in which a prison inmate accused his lawyer of being “in collusion” with opposing counsel in unsatisfactorily settling an underlying medical malpractice case, finding that the man couldn't meet the jurisdiction requirements necessary to bring his suit in federal court.

  • May 15, 2018

    Nonclass Attys Deserve Cut Of $10B VW Deal, 9th Circ. Told

    Hundreds of lawyers claiming their work helped secure the $10 billion resolution of multidistrict litigation from consumers over Volkswagen AG's diesel emissions scandal told the Ninth Circuit on Monday that they deserve a cut of attorneys' fees and costs because their contributions were significant.

  • May 15, 2018

    Ex-Katten Atty Says Gov't Inflating Retrophin Losses

    New York federal prosecutors and attorneys for former Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP attorney Evan Greebel have argued starkly different takes on losses suffered by Martin Shkreli-founded Retrophin Inc., with Greebel deeming the government’s $14.4 million figure vastly overinflated.

  • May 15, 2018

    Work-Hungry Firms Cede Ground On Security Retainer Fees

    The retainer fee has largely survived the financial push-and-pull between firms and corporate clients over the last decade, experts said, but some evidence is emerging that even companies with cash-flow problems have leverage to negotiate smaller upfront payments with their counsel.

  • May 15, 2018

    Ex-Mutual Benefits Atty Says Co. Wasn't A Ponzi Scheme

    Mutual Benefits Corp.’s former outside counsel asked the Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday to overturn his 10-year prison sentence for his role in a massive insurance scam, arguing that the prosecution’s framing of the business as a Ponzi scheme was completely wrong.

  • May 15, 2018

    3rd Circ. Clarifies Time Limit For FDCPA Suits

    The Third Circuit ruled Tuesday that the time limit to challenge debt collection practices isn’t tolled just because a debtor doesn’t discover alleged wrongdoing until after the fact, issuing a precedential decision departing from other federal appeals courts’ findings that the so-called discovery rule applies in such cases.

  • May 15, 2018

    Ex-Texas Atty Gets 6 Years, $3M Ding For Wire Fraud

    A former San Antonio attorney who pled guilty to wire fraud was sentenced in Texas federal court Tuesday to six years in prison and ordered to pay $2.9 million in restitution after taking millions of dollars in client money and lying to two clients about the result of their lawsuit.

  • May 15, 2018

    NJ Agency Blasts Trenk DiPasquale Bid To Limit Email Probe

    A defunct Newark water agency has pushed back against an informal bid by its former counsel Trenk DiPasquale Della Fera & Sodono PC to limit a forensic inspection of the firm’s electronic devices, telling a New Jersey bankruptcy judge that the request was a “back-door” attempt to evade a court order approving the inspection.

  • May 14, 2018

    Attys Clash Over Plaintiffs In Chiquita Terrorism Suit

    Attorneys representing Colombian nationals in multidistrict litigation alleging Chiquita funded Colombian paramilitaries clashed Monday, with three lawyers seeking sanctions against one other for wrongly asserting they have never met anyone from a group of 144 plaintiffs they represent, but the targeted attorney decried the motion as an intimidation tactic.

  • May 14, 2018

    50 Law Schools Ask Recruiting Firms If They Require NDAs

    Fifty of the nation’s top law schools have asked firms recruiting on campuses to complete a survey regarding their use of mandatory arbitration and nondisclosure agreements, following reports that some BigLaw firms have required summer associates to sign agreements covering sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct.

  • May 14, 2018

    Consumer Atty Can’t Redo $1.3M Fee Split In Collecto MDL

    A Connecticut attorney is not entitled to more than the $70,000 his peers allotted him for his relatively small role in a settlement with alleged robocaller Collecto Inc. that yielded $1.3 million in attorneys’ fees, a federal judge decided on Monday.

  • May 14, 2018

    Schiff Hardin Must Face Malpractice Suit, 5th Circ. Told

    Ironshore Europe DAC asked the Fifth Circuit on Monday to allow it to go forward with its claim Schiff Hardin LLP's bad advice about a product liability trial cost it $34 million, saying the law firm is liable under Texas law.

  • May 14, 2018

    Legal Malpractice Suit Was Tossed Too Soon, NJ Court Says

    A New Jersey appeals court on Monday revived a legal malpractice suit accusing a personal injury attorney of botching a woman’s twin car accident settlements, saying the trial judge erred by tossing the suit before factual disputes could be resolved.

  • May 14, 2018

    Jones Day Shorted Worker's Disability Benefits, Suit Says

    A former Jones Day employee accused the firm and an insurer in a lawsuit filed in Tennessee federal court Monday of improperly cutting off her short-term disability benefits and denying her other coverage.

  • May 14, 2018

    5th Circ. Revives Atty's Bad Faith Claims In Coverage Row

    The Fifth Circuit has revived a Texas attorney's claims that her insurer acted in bad faith by refusing to pay defense costs in litigation with a former client, ordering a trial judge to review the alleged violations of the state insurance code in light of a recent Texas Supreme Court ruling.

Expert Analysis

  • How Florida Affirmed Fiduciaries' Lawyer-Client Privilege

    Paul Marino

    The lawyer-client privilege is a cornerstone of the American legal system. But until recently, there was significant doubt in Florida as to whether communications between a lawyer and a fiduciary client could be kept confidential from a beneficiary seeking to compel the production of those communications, say Paul Marino and Jay Kauffman of Day Pitney LLP.

  • 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.