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Legal Ethics

  • November 29, 2018

    Ex-Sandusky Atty Can't Nix Sentence For Taking Client Funds

    After previously finding that a onetime attorney for convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky had received an illegal sentence for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in client funds, a Pennsylvania appeals court has rejected arguments that a newly imposed five- to 18-year prison term in the case was too harsh.

  • November 29, 2018

    Attys OK To Accept Fees From Crowdfunding, DC Bar Says

    Attorneys may accept payment that was generated via crowdfunding under most circumstances, but their ethical obligations increase if they become more closely involved in the crowdfunding effort, according to a new opinion by the District of Columbia Bar.

  • November 29, 2018

    $2.3M Frivolous Litigation Verdict Against Pa. Atty Upheld

    A Pennsylvania appeals court has rejected arguments that a Philadelphia-area attorney’s illness on the eve of trial should wipe out a $2.3 million verdict returned against him and a client for pursuing what a jury agreed was a frivolous inheritance dispute against a onetime Cozen O’Connor partner.

  • November 29, 2018

    Michael Cohen Admits To Lying About Contacts With Russia

    Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's former personal attorney and political champion, admitted to a count of lying to Congress on Thursday morning, telling a Manhattan federal judge he made false statements about the extent of his contacts with Moscow during campaign-season discussions about a Trump real estate project.

  • November 28, 2018

    Daniels Says Avenatti Filed Trump Suit Against Her Will

    Adult film actress Stormy Daniels told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that her attorney Michael Avenatti filed her defamation suit against President Donald Trump against her wishes and is keeping her in the dark about an online fundraiser he set up to fund her legal defense.

  • November 28, 2018

    Fla. Court Upends Sanctions Against Co. Battling Ex-Counsel

    A Florida state appeals court ruled Wednesday that before striking a realty company’s claims, a trial court should have determined whether the business chose to ignore a court order to get new attorneys in a dispute with the law firm that represented it in litigation against Donald Trump over a condo in a Trump property.

  • November 28, 2018

    Calif. Atty Faces Fresh Suit Over $50M Visa Fraud Scheme

    A Los Angeles-area attorney who pled guilty in 2017 to operating a $50 million visa fraud scheme is facing a fourth civil lawsuit for her role in the conspiracy after a Chinese investor sued her in California federal court Wednesday in an attempt to recover the $570,000 he paid to secure a green card.

  • November 28, 2018

    Jackson Walker Seeks End To Ex-NFLer's Wealth Mgmt Suit

    Jackson Walker LLP has asked a Texas state court to end former NFL offensive lineman Leonard Davis' claims that it was one of the advisers who disastrously mismanaged his assets, arguing Davis' claims are time-barred.

  • November 28, 2018

    Former NJ Estate Atty Cops To Money Laundering Scheme

    A former New Jersey attorney with a history of criminal and civil offenses copped to his role Wednesday in a money laundering scheme that also netted criminal charges against his father, federal prosecutors announced.

  • November 28, 2018

    2 Attys Charged, Face SEC Suit Over Pump & Dump Scheme

    Two international tax attorneys were hit with criminal charges and a civil complaint by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Massachusetts federal court in connection with multiple multimillion-dollar pump-and-dump schemes, officials said Tuesday.  

  • November 28, 2018

    High Court Urged To Undo Cravath Shell Doc Decision

    A Nigerian activist’s widow on Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit’s decision barring her from obtaining Royal Dutch Shell documents held by Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP for her suit against the energy giant in the Netherlands.

  • November 28, 2018

    Attorney, Florida Firm Both Denied Quick Wins In FMLA Row

    A Florida federal judge cited remaining factual disputes as she denied a lawyer and South Florida law firm McIntosh Sawran & Cartaya PA quick victories Tuesday in the lawyer's lawsuit alleging the firm fired her in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

  • November 28, 2018

    Pa. Panel Says Judge Is Biased Against Public Defenders

    The Superior Court of Pennsylvania criticized a Pittsburgh judge Wednesday for allegedly giving out excessively harsh sentences to sex offenders, ignoring the appeals court’s previous orders and making “troubling” comments suggesting that she harbored a bias against the entire Allegheny County Public Defender’s Office.

  • November 28, 2018

    ABA Says Attys Can Steer Clients To Funding Cos. They Own

    The American Bar Association has issued a new formal opinion that says attorneys can refer clients to a financing company to cover their fees even if the lawyer has a stake in it, though they must advise clients to get independent advice before agreeing to the loan.  

  • November 28, 2018

    Ex-Pa. Solicitor Gets 8-Hour Jail Term In Pay-To-Play Scheme

    A former assistant solicitor for Allentown, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on Wednesday to serve eight hours in federal custody for helping the city’s ex-mayor, who is now serving 15 years for orchestrating a massive pay-to-play scheme, to rig a contract for tax collection services.

  • November 28, 2018

    DC Courts Unveil New Anti-Harassment Measures

    The D.C. Circuit Judicial Council has adopted new recommendations, some of which the court has already implemented, to improve the way the court handles workplace misconduct and sexual harassment, D.C.'s Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Merrick B. Garland and Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell announced Wednesday.

  • November 28, 2018

    Ex-Atty Scammed Fantasy Football Investors, Feds Say

    A former attorney pled not guilty in Georgia federal court Tuesday to tax and wire fraud charges stemming from claims that he solicited $500,000 worth of investments to start a fantasy football lottery league only to spend the money on lavish trips, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

  • November 28, 2018

    Late Notice Shouldn't Doom Fatal Crash Suit, NJ Justices Told

    A widow whose husband and daughter were killed in a car crash on the New Jersey Turnpike urged the state Supreme Court to reinstate her negligence lawsuit against a state agency, arguing Wednesday that her previous lawyer’s late notice of the claim constituted extraordinary circumstances.

  • November 28, 2018

    DLA Piper Fights DQ Bid In Hemophilia Treatment Row

    DLA Piper has pushed back against an attempt to disqualify it from representing a group of specialty pharmaceutical companies who sued the firm’s former client Horizon Healthcare Services Inc. for allegedly refusing to pay for hemophilia treatments, saying there was no overlap in representation.

  • November 28, 2018

    After Kirkland, Sidley Arbitration Flip, Group Eyes DLA Piper

    After pressuring Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Sidley Austin LLP to reverse arbitration policies covering employment disputes, a group of Harvard law students on Wednesday urged peers to "dump" DLA Piper until the firm promises to stop using so-called coercive contracts.

Expert Analysis

  • Q&A

    Back To School: Stanford's Jeff Fisher Talks Supreme Court

    Jeffrey Fisher

    In this series featuring law school luminaries, Stanford Law School professor Jeffrey Fisher discusses his motivation for teaching, arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court and what the court might look like if Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed.

  • Calif.'s New Rules For Lawyers Move Closer To ABA Model

    Mark Loeterman

    The first comprehensive overhaul of California's Rules of Professional Conduct in nearly 30 years becomes operational on Nov. 1. Some of the new rules mirror the model language used by the American Bar Association, but many continue to reflect California’s unique approach to certain ethical questions, says Mark Loeterman of Signature Resolution LLC.

  • Know The Limits To Atty Public Statements During A Trial

    Matthew Giardina

    The balancing act between protecting attorneys’ speech rights and ensuring unbiased adjudications was highlighted recently in two cases — when Michael Cohen applied for a restraining order against Stephanie Clifford's attorney, and when Johnson & Johnson questioned whether a Missouri talc verdict was tainted by public statements from the plaintiffs' counsel, says Matthew Giardina of Manning Gross & Massenburg LLP.

  • In Calif., Questions Remain On Law Firm Conflict Waivers

    Richard Rosensweig

    In Sheppard Mullin v. J-M Manufacturing Co., the California Supreme Court ruled last month that a law firm's failure to disclose a known conflict with another current client did not categorically disentitle the firm from recovering fees. But the court didn’t provide hoped-for guidance on how to write an enforceable advance conflict waiver, says Richard Rosensweig of Goulston & Storrs PC.

  • Q&A

    A Chat With Faegre Client Development Chief Melanie Green

    Melanie Green

    In this monthly series, Amanda Brady of Major Lindsey & Africa interviews management from top law firms about the increasingly competitive business environment. Here we feature Melanie Green, chief client development officer at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Structuring Investigations In Light Of UK Privilege Case

    Mark Beeley

    The English Court of Appeal's much-anticipated decision in Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation means that companies will continue to face difficulties in obtaining the information they need to investigate suspected wrongdoing, without losing the benefit of legal advice privilege under English law, say Mark Beeley and Rebecca Dipple of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Opinion

    High Court Must Correct La. Judge's Failure To Recuse

    George Eskin

    The U.S. Supreme Court should agree to hear Lacaze v. Louisiana, a case involving an egregious conflict of interest for a judge who presided over a capital case. It is an opportunity to remind judges to disclose their known connections to cases before them, and recuse themselves when necessary, says George Eskin, a retired California Superior Court judge.

  • Can Kavanaugh Be Impeached For Statements To Congress?

    Barbara Radnofsky

    Sitting U.S. senators and a former congressional staffer have accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of misconduct, including being untruthful in his nomination and confirmation processes for both the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Could this subject him to impeachment? Attorney Barbara Radnofsky explores the question through past precedent.

  • Q&A

    Back To School: Widener's Rod Smolla Talks Free Speech

    Rodney Smolla

    In this new series featuring law school luminaries, Widener University Delaware Law School dean Rodney Smolla discusses teaching philosophies, his interest in First Amendment law, and arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court in Virginia v. Black.

  • New Pass-Through Deduction Will Pass Over Many Lawyers

    Evan Morgan

    A few weeks ago, the IRS proposed regulations related to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's 20 percent deduction on qualified business income for pass-through entities. The guidance offers long-awaited clarity, but is mostly bad news for many law firms, says Evan Morgan of Kaufman Rossin PA.