Legal Ethics

  • February 03, 2023

    Fla. Trial Atty Sanctioned And Should Pay Costs, Court Says

    A Florida appeals court said Friday that "intentionally misleading and deceptive statements" made by defense counsel to the judge and jury during a car crash trial and improper discovery actions warranted the imposition of monetary sanctions on the attorney and a possible suspension.

  • February 03, 2023

    ​​​​​​​Ex-Eisner Atty Says Get His Name Out Of Court Fraud Suit

    An ex-Eisner LLP attorney urged a California judge Friday to strike "gratuitous" allegations that he aided a fraud on the court and remove them from Orion Telescopes & Binoculars' lawsuit against his client, saying Orion decided to "splatter and vomit my name" across the complaint for lawfully representing his client.

  • February 03, 2023

    Ex-Ark. State Sen. Gets Almost 4 Years For Tax Fraud, Bribery

    Former Arkansas state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson was sentenced to nearly four years in prison by an Arkansas federal court Friday after admitting he underreported his income and took bribes from an orthodontist in exchange for pushing legislation.

  • February 03, 2023

    Marketing Co. Wants Claims It Hacked Atty's Email Tossed

    A Virginia-based marketing company told an Illinois federal court Friday that it had no personal jurisdiction over a fraud lawsuit brought by an Illinois man who claims officers of the company impersonated him, hacked his attorney's emails and caused the lawyer to wire more than $350,000 in real estate transaction proceeds to an account the company controlled.

  • February 03, 2023

    Wigdor Beats Leon Black's Sanction Bid In Rape Suit

    A New York state judge denied Leon Black's request for sanctions against Wigdor LLP in a suit from a woman who says the former Apollo Global Management Inc. CEO sexually assaulted her, ruling Friday that Black's arguments are unavailing and that it would be "improper" to reargue previous decisions.

  • February 03, 2023

    Atty Won't Be DQ'd For Using Unredacted Privileged Info

    A Seattle attorney who inadvertently received privileged information in a stack of email discovery and used it to support a motion does not have to be disqualified, a Washington state appeals court has ruled, saying there is no evidence the attorney purposely sought out the privileged information.

  • February 03, 2023

    Bowditch Settles Book Distributor's $20M Malpractice Suit

    Bowditch & Dewey LLP has settled a $20 million malpractice suit against the firm over pension advice it gave to a magazine and book distributor for Walmart, Target and other retailers, according to a dismissal notice Friday.

  • February 03, 2023

    NJ Atty's Coverage Suit Belongs In Fed. Court, Judge Says

    A New Jersey attorney who sued his insurance companies for denying coverage for a malpractice suit brought over a scam wire transfer should have his case remain in federal court, a magistrate judge has said, due to the potentially high-dollar amount of the dispute.

  • February 03, 2023

    Girardi Thefts A Tough Lift For Client Restitution Funds

    In recent years, the legal business has seen some ambitious liars, grifters and embezzlers — and the ripped-off victims left in their wake. But the scale of Los Angeles lawyer Thomas Girardi's alleged theft promises to surpass the financial limitations of client restitution funds.

  • February 03, 2023

    Ex-McDermott Trainer Temporarily Drops Disability Bias Suit

    A former employee of McDermott Will & Emery LLP who accused the firm of disability discrimination in January filed a voluntary dismissal notice Thursday, but his attorney told Law360 Pulse on Friday they will refile next week in a California state court.

  • February 03, 2023

    Texas Justices Say Payment Bars Wrongful Imprisonment Suit

    An exonerated man can't pursue his Texas federal lawsuit against Houston and Harris County after he accepted a payment for his wrongful conviction under a Lone Star State law designed to compensate people for time they wrongly spent behind bars, the state's supreme court ruled Friday.

  • February 03, 2023

    Ritz-Carlton Fights To Keep Fla. Atty On In Class Suit

    Counsel for plaintiffs in a proposed class suit accusing Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC of hiding automatic tipping charges urged a Florida federal magistrate judge on Friday to disqualify Ritz-Carlton's local counsel, arguing that the hotel company had failed to show an "overriding need" for the retention of the attorney, whose entering the case caused a judge's recusal.

  • February 03, 2023

    Greater DA Oversight On Ga. GOP Radar In 2 New Bills

    Georgia's elected prosecutors may soon face an oversight commission and easier voter recalls as a result of two bills introduced by Republican state Reps. Houston Gaines and Joseph Gullett.

  • February 03, 2023

    Airline Mogul Wants NC Law Firm's Bank Info In Hacking Suit

    An airline tycoon has doubled down on his bid to subpoena bank records from a boutique law firm in North Carolina that has since joined with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, saying the money trail will connect the firm and its client to a Middle East sovereign wealth fund accused of hacking his emails.

  • February 03, 2023

    UK Litigation Roundup: Here's What You Missed In London

    The past week in London has seen the Financial Conduct Authority hoping to put care home Ponzi schemes to bed in separate claims against Lupton Fawcett, a law firm in Leeds, and a social care group, MBi; oil giant Shell in a sticky situation in a claim over pollution in two Nigerian communities; and Plexus Law's former boss suing the personal injury firm in a commercial contracts claim.

  • February 02, 2023

    Albright Exits IBM's Stolen Tech Suit After Swiss Co.'s DQ Bid

    U.S. District Judge Alan Albright bowed out of IBM's patent suit against a Swiss technology company over purportedly stolen computer systems after the defendant argued in a disqualification bid that the judge's past work representing another client against IBM could affect his ability to remain impartial.

  • February 02, 2023

    Sullivan & Cromwell Slams 'Harassing' FTX-Related Subpoena

    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP urged a New York state court to stop a "harassing" subpoena from investors who are suing FTX promoters like Tom Brady in Florida state court and now seek documents from the firm that opine about whether tokens offered by the failed cryptocurrency exchange, its client in other matters, constituted securities.

  • February 02, 2023

    MGA Atty's N-Word Use Looms Over Doll Retrial Featuring T.I.

    MGA Entertainment indicated Thursday it will seek to introduce vulgar rap lyrics and allegations of criminal behavior connected to hip-hop moguls T.I. and Tameka "Tiny" Harris in a May retrial of their intellectual property battle over a line of popular dolls, a strategy the Harrises say is racist.

  • February 02, 2023

    Kyle Roche's Ex-Firm Must Sit For Depo Over Financial Ties

    A California federal judge overseeing allegations that crypto company Dfinity sold unregistered securities ordered a representative of the plaintiff investors' law firm to sit for a deposition on Dfinity's claim that secretly recorded comments from ex-firm partner Kyle Roche reveal financial ties that require disqualifying the firm, formerly called Roche Freedman.

  • February 02, 2023

    IP Forecast: Fed. Circ. To Eye Cooley's Conduct In CBD Row

    Pure Hemp Collective heads to the Federal Circuit to argue it was wrongly denied legal fees based on how rival United Cannabis' Cooley LLP lawyers handled one of the first-ever cannabis patent suits, while United Cannabis plans to attack the appeal as "frivolous." Here's a look at that case — plus all the other major intellectual property matters on deck in the coming week.

  • February 02, 2023

    Oxy May Face Uphill Battle In Bid To Vacate $392M Award

    A Second Circuit panel appeared skeptical during oral arguments Thursday that a $392 million arbitral award issued to Andes Petroleum Ecuador Ltd. could be nixed based on an undisclosed relationship between its lead counsel and the arbitrator appointed by its opponent, an Occidental Petroleum unit.

  • February 02, 2023

    Judiciary Committee Chairs Seek Info On Indicted FBI Official

    The chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary committees on Thursday demanded federal prosecutors provide more information regarding the recently unsealed indictment of a former high-ranking FBI official accused of helping a Russian oligarch avoid sanctions, saying the case raises broader questions about national security and counterintelligence operations.

  • February 02, 2023

    Former Fla. Taxpayer Advocate Wins 'Difficult' Ethics Tussle

    A 2018 legislative change that shifted the structure of the Florida taxpayers' rights advocate position also cleared the way for former advocates to move into the private sector and represent clients before the Florida Department of Revenue, according to a state appeals court.

  • February 02, 2023

    Full 10th Circ. Won't Hear 'Big Lie' Attys' Bid To Nix Sanctions

    The Tenth Circuit on Thursday rejected a bid for rehearing en banc and a request to review its decision affirming a Colorado federal judge's order sanctioning Trump-allied attorneys $187,000 for bringing a "frivolous, politically motivated" suit over phony rigged 2020 election claims that should've never been filed to begin with.

  • February 02, 2023

    Girardi Indictment Sparks Joy, Frustration, Disbelief

    Before the sun rose Thursday in Jakarta, Indonesia, Bias Ramadhan woke up and scanned his emails to find news he thought would never come: Thomas Girardi, the American lawyer who allegedly stole from his family's settlement, had been indicted.

Expert Analysis

  • Why FERC's Proposed Duty Of Candor Rule Is Problematic

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    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is considering adopting a new regulation that would prohibit the submission of any inaccurate or false information when communicating with the agency, which would raise significant due process and First Amendment concerns, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • A Litigation Move That Could Conserve Discovery Resources

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    Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben proposes the preliminary legal opinion procedure — seeking a court's opinion on a disputed legal standard at the outset, rather than the close, of discovery — as a useful resource-preservation tool for legally complex, discovery-intensive litigation.

  • Litigators Should Approach AI Tools With Caution

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    Artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT hold potential to streamline various aspects of the litigation process, resulting in improved efficiency and outcomes, but should be carefully double-checked for confidentiality, plagiarism and accuracy concerns, say Zachary Foster and Melanie Kalmanson at Quarles & Brady.

  • Crypto Coverage After FTX Fall: Accountant And Atty Liability

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    The recent fall of cryptocurrency firm FTX highlights complexities regarding accounting and tax reporting for digital assets, and reveals lawyers’ potential liability exposure when providing services to crypto firms — as a result, insurers may face unintended vulnerabilities related to this nebulous landscape, say Anjali Das and Farzana Ahmed at Wilson Elser.

  • Thorny Legal Issues Surround NY Prosecutor's Trump Tell-All

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    As the Manhattan district attorney's office empanels a grand jury in its ongoing Donald Trump investigation, it is seeking to pause publication of a book by former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz that focuses on Trump's indictment — an unusual situation that raises issues of prejudice, contractual responsibility and legal ethics, says John Harris at Frankfurt Kurnit.

  • 5 Ways Attorneys Can Use Emotion In Client Pitches

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    Lawyers are skilled at using their high emotional intelligence to build rapport with clients, so when planning your next pitch, consider how you can create some emotional peaks, personal connections and moments of magic that might help you stick in prospective clients' minds and seal the deal, says consultant Diana Kander.

  • 5 Keys To A Productive Mediation

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Cortney Young at ADR Partners discusses factors that can help to foster success in mediation, including scheduling, preparation, managing client expectations and more.

  • Evaluating The Legal Ethics Of A ChatGPT-Authored Motion

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    Aimee Furness and Sam Mallick at Haynes Boone asked ChatGPT to draft a motion to dismiss, and then scrutinized the resulting work product in light of attorneys' ethical and professional responsibility obligations.

  • Jan. 6 Panel Transcripts Highlight Attorney Ethics Issues

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    Recently released transcripts of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony to the U.S. House Jan. 6 committee demonstrate that there is always a lurking conflict when someone other than the client is paying the fee, and that disclosure must therefore be painstaking and extensive, says Steven Lubet at Northwestern University.

  • 7 Tips To Increase Your Law Firm's DEI Efforts In 2023

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    Law firms looking to advance their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts should consider implementing new practices and initiatives this year, including some that require nominal additional effort or expense, say Janet Falk at Falk Communications and Gina Rubel at Furia Rubel.

  • Series

    Keys To A 9-0 High Court Win: Get Back To Home Base

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    When I argued for the petitioner in Morgan v. Sundance before the U.S. Supreme Court last year, I made the idea of consistency the cornerstone of my case and built a road map for my argument to ensure I could always return to that home-base theme, says Karla Gilbride at Public Justice.

  • Atty-Client Privilege Arguments Give Justices A Moving Target

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    Recent oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case regarding the scope of the attorney-client privilege appeared to raise more questions about multipurpose counsel communications than they answered, as the parties presented shifting iterations of a predictable, easily applied test for evaluating the communications' purpose, say Trey Bourn and Thomas DiStanislao at Butler Snow.

  • 5 Gen X Characteristics That Can Boost Legal Leadership

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    As Generation X attorneys rise to fill top roles in law firms and corporations left by retiring baby boomers, they should embrace generational characteristics that will allow them to become better legal leaders, says Meredith Kahan at Whiteford Taylor.

  • 6 Questions For Boutique Firms Considering Mergers

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    To prepare for discussions with potential merger partners, boutique law firms should first consider the challenges they hope to address with a merger and the qualities they prioritize in possible partner firms, say Howard Cohl and Ron Nye at Major Lindsey.

  • Del. Justices' Reversal Of Boardwalk Award May Apply Widely

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    The Delaware Supreme Court's recent Boardwalk Pipeline v. Bandera Master Fund decision that a general partner wasn't liable for willful misconduct is likely to have wide applicability for noncorporate entities, which courts are unlikely to view as entitled to more protection than Boardwalk's public unit holders, say attorneys at Fried Frank.

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