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Legal Ethics

  • October 5, 2018

    Asbestos Firm, Insurers Reach Deal In Payback Suit

    National asbestos law firm Shrader & Associates LLP and three health insurers have reached a deal in a suit claiming the firm failed to pay the companies money out of its clients’ asbestos settlement funds, a Texas federal judge has said.

  • October 5, 2018

    Insurer Says Firm's Bad Advice Cost It Millions

    Clarendon National Insurance Co. has filed a lawsuit in Colorado federal court against Goodman McGuffey LLP, accusing the firm of giving bad advice regarding policies issued to construction professionals, costing it over $3 million.

  • October 5, 2018

    Atty Looks To Check Out Of Timeshare-Exit Contract Suit

    A lawyer who assisted a firm specializing in helping customers exit timeshare deals has asked a Florida federal court to dismiss him from a resort company’s suit against the exit firm, arguing that he merely wrote "boilerplate" letters as an outside contractor and shouldn't be included in the suit.

  • October 5, 2018

    Atty, Rabbi, Fraudster All Plead Not Guilty In $7M Extortion

    A convicted securities fraudster accused of trying to extort $7 million from a former co-defendant and a lawyer and a rabbi who are accused of helping him make plans to launder the money all pled not guilty in Brooklyn federal court on Friday.

  • October 5, 2018

    Senate Vote Likely Secures Kavanaugh's Supreme Court Bid

    D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court confirmation may have been secured Friday after he won majority support in a bitterly divided Senate from previously undecided senators.

  • October 4, 2018

    Justice Stevens Says Kavanaugh Unfit For High Court

    Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens reportedly said Thursday that D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh does not belong on the high court following his emotional Senate Judiciary Committee testimony last week.

  • October 4, 2018

    Gay Atty Alleges Co-Counsel Outed Him To Al-Qaida Client

    A gay attorney who helped defend an alleged 9/11 conspirator has sued the federal government for $26 million, alleging his government-contracted and military co-counsel falsely told their al-Qaida member client he was "infatuated" with him, putting his life in danger.

  • October 4, 2018

    Sedgwick’s Ch. 11 Filing 'A Success Story,' Judge Told

    A California bankruptcy judge on Thursday noted the “astonishing amount” of work Sedgwick LLP did prior to its Chapter 11 filing, after an attorney for the now-defunct firm touted it as a bankruptcy “success story” — all its employees have been paid and found new jobs since the firm shuttered in January. 

  • October 4, 2018

    NCAI Attorney Departs Amid Sexual Harassment Claims

    A long-serving counsel at the National Congress of American Indians has left the organization after issuing a statement saying he had been falsely accused of sexual harassment of NCAI employees as part of a power struggle at the top.

  • October 4, 2018

    'Post-Truth Era' Won't Deter Judge In Firm's Row With Bank

    A California federal judge on Thursday called for an evidentiary hearing to determine when Potter Handy LLP opened its U.S. Bank client trust checking account, saying that “even in the post-truth era” he could glean whether the law firm’s retaliation claim over the account’s closure was subject to arbitration.

  • October 4, 2018

    Senate Barrels Toward Kavanaugh Vote Following FBI Report

    Senate leadership on Thursday set the wheels in motion to hold a Supreme Court confirmation vote for D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh this weekend after a key undecided senator praised the FBI report on sexual assault allegations against the judge as “thorough.”

  • October 4, 2018

    Simpson Suit Spotlights In-House Counsel's Clashing Roles

    A recently settled nonpayment suit between a legal recruiter and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP shined a light on the importance for in-house law firm counsel of delineating between administrative and legal functions, in order to avert a potentially thorny discovery dispute in litigation.

  • October 4, 2018

    NJ Justices Order Judge To Defend Ethics Charges

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has ordered a state court judge accused of misusing her staff to prove why she shouldn’t be disciplined after ethics authorities found she’d violated professional conduct rules, according to an order made public Thursday.

  • October 4, 2018

    Ex-Morgan Lewis Client Challenges Subpoena In $30M Suit

    Towers Watson Delaware has told a Pennsylvania state court that its former firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius, which Towers Watson sued for $30 million for allegedly working against its interests, has once again attempted to subpoena privileged documents as part of the discovery process.

  • October 4, 2018

    11th Circ. Affirms Ex-Mutual Benefits Atty's 10-Year Sentence

    An Eleventh Circuit panel on Thursday declined to overturn the 10-year prison sentence of Mutual Benefits Corp.'s former outside counsel, finding that the government presented sufficient evidence at trial to support fraud convictions for his role in a massive insurance investment scheme.

  • October 4, 2018

    Law360's The Week In Disclipline

    A Manhattan lawyer caught splitting legal fees with a since-convicted political power broker and a New Jersey attorney hit with a simultaneous pair of suspensions lead Law360's The Week In Discipline, which compiles sanctions and conduct charges that may have flown under the radar.

  • October 4, 2018

    Jay-Z Copyright Suit Has 'A Real Stench': 2nd Circ. Judge

    A Second Circuit judge hearing appeals of a lower court's decision to throw out a copyright lawsuit against Jay-Z by a man who says he made the logo for the rapper's label Roc-A-Fella Records rebuked the plaintiff's lawyer on Thursday, saying the case "has a real stench to it" and that his advocacy "falls far short" of standards.

  • October 4, 2018

    $4.3M Engle Sanctions May Fund Ethics Training, Legal Aid

    A panel of federal judges overseeing long-running tobacco litigation in Florida federal court told the parties Wednesday they're considering allocating some of the $4.3 million that the court is holding from sanctions against two law firms to fund the Florida Bar's professionalism and ethics programming.

  • October 4, 2018

    NJ Atty Can't Escape Sanctions Over 'Vexatious' Motions

    A New Jersey attorney cannot avoid paying legal fees to his ex-partner’s new firm and their former practice as sanctions for his “vexatious and harassing motion practice” in a defamation suit against them by another firm, a state appeals court said Thursday in upholding trial court rulings.

  • October 4, 2018

    Disbarred Atty, Ex-Clients Ink $19M Deal In Fen-Phen Case

    The members of an underlying class action over the popular weight-loss drug fen-phen have reached a $19 million settlement with their former attorney, a once well-known class action attorney who was disbarred after the courts found he pocketed a large portion of the $200 million fen-phen settlement.

Expert Analysis

  • Time For Sunshine On 3rd-Party Litigation Funding

    Mary Novacheck

    On July 1, Wisconsin became the first state to require disclosure of third-party litigation financing contingent on the outcome of cases. Individual states' and courts' efforts to shed more light on such funding arrangements are an inconsistent patchwork. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure should be revised to require such disclosure nationwide, says Mary Novacheck of Bowman and Brooke LLP.

  • Suddenly, ALJs Become Political Appointees

    Brian Casey

    Less than three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decided Lucia v. Securities and Exchange Commission, President Donald Trump signed an executive order applying the court’s rationale in Lucia to the hiring — and firing — of all administrative law judges in the federal government, making them entirely beholden to the heads of their agencies or the president for their jobs, says Brian Casey of Barnes & Thornburg LLP.

  • What Kavanaugh's Writing Tells Us About His Personality

    Matthew Hall

    People with certain personality traits tend to use certain words. A computer analysis of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s D.C. Circuit opinions reveals that he is highly extraverted, which means that he would be a prominent voice on the U.S. Supreme Court, says Matthew Hall, a professor at the University of Notre Dame.

  • Opinion

    3 Pros, 3 Cons Of Litigation Finance

    Ralph Sutton

    An educated guess puts the number of new litigation funders launched in the past 18 months at 30 — an astonishing number, with more to come. Is this a blessing to our legal system or something more akin to tulip mania? Maybe both, says Ralph Sutton, founder and CEO of litigation funding firm Validity Finance LLC.

  • How Attorney Discipline Is Evolving In The #MeToo Era

    Bonnie Frost

    In March, the American Bar Association issued a manual to help legal employers and victims fight sexual harassment in the legal profession. While automatic disbarment for sexual misconduct with clients may have been considered too harsh a sanction almost a decade ago, it may be revisited in the current climate, say Bonnie Frost and Kristi Terranova of Einhorn Harris Ascher Barbarito & Frost PC.

  • Modern Communication Brings E-Discovery Challenges

    Thomas Bonk

    As new communications platforms displace email, the legal industry is awkwardly grappling with complex e-discovery questions. Fortunately, this environment provides a very fertile ground of incentives for innovation in both e-discovery technology and service offerings, says Thomas Bonk of Epiq.

  • Opinion

    It's Not All About The Benjamins, Baby (Lawyer)

    J.B. Heaton

    Notwithstanding the latest salary war among prominent law firms, I urge my middle-aged and older colleagues to help the recent graduates we know focus on the long term. Even if the salary is the same, there is a big difference between an institutional firm and the relatively younger firms matching BigLaw, says J.B. Heaton, a University of Chicago business law fellow and former partner at Bartlit Beck.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Hood Reviews 'Lawyering From The Inside Out'

    Judge Denise Hood

    Law professor Nathalie Martin's new book, "Lawyering From the Inside Out: Learning Professional Development Through Mindfulness and Emotional Intelligence," can be of value to any lawyer aiming to achieve greater productivity, relieve the stress of the legal profession and focus on goals, says U.S. District Chief Judge Denise Page Hood of the Eastern District of Michigan.

  • Series

    High Crimes And Misdemeanors: Making Political Judgments

    Laurence Tribe

    Presidential impeachment exists not so that one party can decapitate the other, but to preserve the foundation of our democracy. For an impeachment to be legitimate, it must be a fair process in which Congress speaks for a majority of the American people in undoing an election, say Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School and Joshua Matz of Gupta Wessler PLLC.

  • 3 Top E-Discovery Case Law Lessons Of 2018 (So Far)

    Casey Sullivan

    The blockbuster e-discovery cases, with big sanctions and bigger controversies, have been few and far between this year. But that doesn’t mean the legal questions around e-discovery have been answered. Let’s take a closer look at three cases worthy of our attention, says Casey Sullivan, an attorney at discovery technology provider Logikcull.