Legal Ethics

  • March 24, 2017

    Sidley, Deloitte Likely Still On Hook For $350M Ponzi Row

    An Oregon federal magistrate judge refused to free Sidley Austin LLP, Deloitte and others from a proposed class action claiming they aided an alleged $350 million Ponzi scheme, recommending Thursday that some claims be dismissed but saying the investors should have another crack at revising them.

  • March 24, 2017

    Atty At Center Of $550M Social Security Fraud Pleads Guilty

    A Kentucky attorney who conspired with an administrative law judge and a psychologist to defraud Social Security of $550 million in disability payments pled guilty in federal court Friday for his role in the scheme, according to a U.S. Department of Justice announcement.

  • March 24, 2017

    JPMorgan Says Jokes Can't DQ Judge In Whistleblower's Suit

    JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Friday blasted a former executive’s bid to disqualify the New York federal judge handling her retaliation suit against the company, saying the judge’s comment that he “wouldn’t wish the case on [his] worst enemy” was “obviously humorous.”

  • March 24, 2017

    6th Circ. Says Award Can Stand In Law Firm Partnership Row

    The Sixth Circuit on Friday sided with three members of a now-dissolved law firm in a dispute over a fourth member's share in the partnership during retirement, finding an Ohio federal court was right to allow an arbitrator to resolve the disagreement, and that her rulings were proper.

  • March 24, 2017

    ABA President Balks At Rep's Call For More Lawyer Ad Regs

    The president of the American Bar Association pushed back Friday on a call from a U.S. House of Representative judicial leader for new regulations on "dangerous attorney advertisements” put out by firms seeking clients for cases against drugmakers, reminding him of First Amendment protections and rules that are already in place.

  • March 24, 2017

    Judge Will Allow Class To Object To $75M State Street Fees

    A federal judge in Massachusetts said Friday that he would like to let class members in a $300 million settlement with State Street Corp. over its foreign exchange practices object to the allegedly overstated legal fees in the case, once the special master is finished with his probe.

  • March 24, 2017

    Dewey Staffer Says She Didn't Think She Committed Crimes

    A former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP finance staffer told a Manhattan federal jury Friday she did not think she was committing a crime by making improper accounting entries into the law firm’s books, and confirmed that former Executive Director Stephen DiCarmine never told her to do anything inappropriate.

  • March 24, 2017

    'Housewives' Star's Ex-Atty Urges Stay Of Malpractice Action

    The former attorney of a one-time incarcerated star of “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” on Friday tried again to put the brakes on her state court malpractice action, urging a federal judge to stay a bankruptcy judge’s order allowing the case to proceed while he appeals that ruling.

  • March 24, 2017

    Jacoby Loses 2nd Circ. Bid Over NY Outside Investor Ban

    Jacoby & Meyers LLP lost its bid to revive its yearslong suit challenging New York state regulations barring nonlawyers from investing in law firms on Friday when a Second Circuit panel said the firm’s free speech claims fell flat.

  • March 24, 2017

    NJ Atty Reprimanded Over Client's Default Judgment

    The New Jersey Supreme Court has reprimanded an attorney for failing to help a client embroiled in an out-of-state lawsuit retain local counsel in time to avoid a default judgment, according to an order and ethics decision made public Friday.

  • March 24, 2017

    Guilty Pleas Kick Off Calif. Court Clerk Bribery Ring Case

    Three participants in a court records rigging ring that affected more than 1,000 cases in Orange County, California, pled guilty Thursday to a racketeering charge, the first of 10 plea hearings in a sprawling scheme that allegedly got drunken drivers and others off the hook in exchange for bribes.

  • March 24, 2017

    Liberty Mutual Looks To Fight Off Judge Recusal Bid

    Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. fought back Friday against a bid by Commercial Concrete Systems LLC to disqualify a Florida federal judge from adjudicating a breach of indemnity agreement suit, arguing the judge's brief stint as a lawyer at the firm advising Liberty does not indicate bias.

  • March 24, 2017

    Baker Urges 7th Circ. To End Ex-Employee's Retaliation Suit

    Baker & McKenzie Thursday asked the Seventh Circuit to reject a former secretary’s retaliation complaint, saying she was rehashing a complaint dismissed four years ago.

  • March 24, 2017

    Ex-Monsanto Lawyer Must Hand Over Docs In Syngenta MDL

    A Kansas federal court on Friday partially granted a demand from a group of corn producers to compel documents from a former Monsanto in-house attorney in multidistrict litigation over Syngenta’s allegedly false promotion of genetically modified corn, saying there could be relevant information in the attorney’s possession.

  • March 24, 2017

    Campaign Lies Show Need To End Judge Elections, Prof Says

    Attempts by states to shut down campaign lies by judicial candidates are likely unconstitutional and ultimately fruitless, a Florida law professor argued in a recently released paper, raising the question of whether popular elections should be eliminated altogether in order to enforce honesty.

  • March 24, 2017

    NJ Transit Employees Get Suit Against Law Firm Reinstated

    The New Jersey Appellate Division on Friday revived a lawsuit against employment law firm Smith Mullin PC by four former clients who had sued New Jersey Transit, ruling that the trial court judge who found the plaintiffs’ responses to discovery requirements inadequate hadn't actually reviewed them.

  • March 24, 2017

    Asbestos Firms Shed Racketeering Suits For Lack Of Ill. Ties

    Industrial manufacturer John Crane Inc. cannot pursue claims against asbestos plaintiffs firms Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett PC and Shein Law Center Ltd. for allegedly providing false histories for clients during asbestos litigation, as the firms lack sufficient ties to Illinois, according to parallel rulings in federal court Thursday.

  • March 24, 2017

    Alston & Bird Advice Caused $7.6M Tax Bill, PE Firm Says

    Alston & Bird LLP left a private equity firm on the hook for a $7.6 million tax liability after providing bad advice during a 2011 investment deal, a lawsuit filed in Georgia state court charges.

  • March 24, 2017

    Fla. Judge Seeks To Retain Seat Despite Campaign 'Mistakes'

    A Palm Beach County, Florida, judge admitted Friday to making mistakes during her election campaign, including statements that violated judicial canons, but argued they do not rise to the level of making her unfit to continue serving.

  • March 24, 2017

    Loop, Attys Face $3.5M Fee Bid In 'Nightmare' IP Suit

    Almawave S.p.A. asked a California federal judge Thursday to force Loop AI Labs Inc. and its lawyer to pony up $3.5 million in attorneys’ fees — and a $250 still-unpaid sanction over spilled coffee in a deposition — in a contentious trade secrets dispute the company called a “nightmare.”

Expert Analysis

  • Google, NASA, Planes And A Stronger Legal Team

    Nicholas Cheolas

    Why did minor mechanical issues bring down two airplanes, while a catastrophic engine explosion did not bring down a third? The answers lie, in part, in research conducted by NASA in the wake of those crashes and, more recently, by Google. And those answers can help organizations build better teams to meet today’s legal industry challenges, says Nicholas Cheolas of Zelle LLP.

  • 10 Tips For Better Legal Negotiations

    Marc J. Siegel

    Like everything else, the art of negotiation starts by having a conversation. It’s about being respectful, finding common ground, knowing what you want and, most importantly, listening. A conversation between two lawyers can be complicated at best, but by employing a few techniques and tactics, it doesn’t have to be that way, says Marc Siegel of Siegel & Dolan Ltd.

  • Monthly Column

    Gray Matters: Decision Error

    Gray Matters

    Lawyers make hundreds of decisions during the course of advising a client, consummating a transaction or litigating a case. In this new column, dispute resolution experts Bob Creo and Selina Shultz explore the theory, science and practical aspects of how decisions are made in the legal community.

  • Law Schools And Law Firms: Seeking Common Ground

    Randy Gordon

    What we don’t know is whether the teaching and practice of law are undergoing massive structural changes or we’re still digging out from the worst economic collapse since the Depression. But what we do know is that the missions of the most forward-looking law schools and law firms are converging in ways that were unimaginable 10 years ago, says Randy Gordon, a partner at Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP and executive professor of law at Te... (continued)

  • D&O Insurance And The Conduct Exclusion

    Kevin M. LaCroix

    Most directors and officers insurance policies have conduct exclusions precluding coverage for fraudulent, criminal or willful misconduct, but mere allegations are insufficient to trigger this exclusion. A California state appeals court's recent decision in Heart Tronics v. Axis Insurance provides interesting insight into the operation of such an exclusion, says Kevin LaCroix of RT ProExec.

  • Not From Around Here? Trying A Case As An Out-Of-Towner

    William Oxley

    The importance of authenticity is magnified when trying a case outside your home jurisdiction. While using references to local landmarks or history can help make arguments relatable, adopting local expressions or style in an attempt to ingratiate oneself with the judge and jury almost always backfires, say William Oxley and Meghan Rohling Kelly of Dechert LLP.

  • 9th Circ. Widens Split Over Dodd-Frank Whistleblowers

    Steven J. Pearlman

    In Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that the anti-retaliation provision in Dodd-Frank protects whistleblowers who make internal complaints but do not complain to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The decision deepens the current circuit split on the issue and there is now a realistic possibility this case could ascend to the U.S. Supreme Court, say Steven Pearlman and Edward Young of Proskauer Rose LLP.

  • How The Most Profitable Law Firms Structure Their C-Suites

    Anita Turner

    The most successful Am Law 200 law firms have evolved from being partner-run to being run by a group of highly skilled professionals reporting to firm shareholders. The data collected from our recent survey indicates this model is generally conducive to increased profitability, says Anita Turner, senior director at Colliers International.

  • Settlement Strategy: What Does The Client Really Want?

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    The best outside counsel think like the client. That includes understanding the client’s perspectives and goals with regard to reaching a settlement — because “good results” mean different things for different clients. Outside counsel must ask themselves the right questions, and know the answers, to shape a client-focused settlement strategy, say Kate Jackson of Cummins Inc. and Patrick Reilly of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • In The Associate Lateral Market, All Law Firms Are Not Equal

    Darin R. Morgan

    When associates contemplate a potential lateral move, there is a common misconception that all law firms are the same. It may seem that one law firm is just like the next, but if you dig deeper, you may discover unique attributes at some firms that may be more appealing and improve your professional satisfaction significantly, says Darin Morgan of Major Lindsey & Africa.