Legal Ethics

  • June 01, 2020

    Pierce Bainbridge Funder Says Firm Defaulted On Debt

    Litigation funder Virage Capital Management claims Pierce Bainbridge has defaulted on debt the ailing law firm racked up over the past year, estimated by current and former attorneys at $65 million, as Virage bids to block a competing creditor from collecting on a much smaller debt in Texas state court.

  • June 01, 2020

    Bayer Slams Pet Med Co.'s Bid To Serve Docs Via Email

    Bayer HealthCare urged a California federal court against allowing a generic pet medication maker to flout international protocol for how to serve documents in a $114 million antitrust case, saying the company is trying to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a scapegoat for its own delays and errors.

  • June 01, 2020

    Avenatti's Calif. Trial Pushed To December Over COVID-19

    A California federal judge on Monday delayed attorney Michael Avenatti's embezzlement trial by three months, setting a Dec. 8 criminal jury trial while acknowledging the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis makes it difficult to predict with any certainty if that date will stick.

  • June 01, 2020

    SEC Wins Termination Of Blockvest Suit Due To Forged Docs

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission won terminating sanctions and a default judgment against Blockvest LLC after a California federal court found that the cryptocurrency company's founder had submitted fake documents during the litigation.

  • June 01, 2020

    High Court Turns Away Wis. Bar Dues Case Despite Dissent

    The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up a First Amendment challenge to the State Bar of Wisconsin's mandatory dues scheme, prompting a dissent by Justice Clarence Thomas likening the payments to union fees the high court outlawed in a 2018 ruling.

  • May 31, 2020

    Pandemic Hinders Bar Exam Retakers Who Aid The Indigent

    As New York courts begin to lift coronavirus restrictions, a group of law school graduates who represent the indigent and have failed the bar exam twice have been forced to drop their clients for the foreseeable future. Public defender groups say the times demand an exception to the rules.

  • May 31, 2020

    Pryor Cashman Atty Charged In Firebomb Attack On NYPD

    Brooklyn federal prosecutors on Saturday night charged two New York City attorneys, including a Pryor Cashman LLP associate, in connection with a firebomb attack on a New York Police Department vehicle the night before amid violent protests sparked by the police killing of a black man in Minneapolis.

  • May 29, 2020

    Ex-Judges Slam Flynn's Appeal In Dismissal Bid Fight

    A group of retired federal judges urged the D.C. Circuit on Friday to reject a petition by Michael Flynn asking the appeals court to order a judge to immediately grant the Trump administration's controversial request to dismiss the criminal case against the president's former national security adviser.

  • May 29, 2020

    Intel Chief Declassifies Transcripts Of Flynn's Russia Calls

    Newly confirmed Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Friday declassified the highly sought-after transcripts of Michael Flynn's conversations with a Russian ambassador to the U.S. during President Donald Trump's transition to office in December 2016.

  • May 29, 2020

    Pierce Bainbridge Calls Interim Class Lead Bid Premature

    Pierce Bainbridge's remaining lawyers have urged a Texas federal judge not to appoint a new firm formed by their ex-colleagues as interim lead counsel in a proposed class action against Southwest Airlines and Boeing, saying the move would be "premature."

  • May 29, 2020

    Calif. Judge Probes Avenatti Atty Efficacy Over Virus Worries

    A California federal judge questioned whether counsel for Michael Avenatti was able to handle his criminal defense amid the COVID-19 pandemic, zeroing in on the attorney's remarks in a recent status report that his ability to prepare for trial has been "deeply impacted."

  • May 29, 2020

    NY Court Won't Reconsider Sanctions For 'Notorious' Atty

    A New York federal judge on Friday denied a bid to reconsider an award of attorney fees and sanctions against Richard Liebowitz and his law firm for not verifying that a photograph was registered before filing a copyright suit, saying the request improperly tried to relitigate issues and advance new arguments.

  • May 29, 2020

    NJ Doc Can't Escape Sanctions For Giving Attys Patient Info

    A prominent New Jersey psychologist whose license was suspended after he disclosed sensitive patient information to debt collection attorneys is stuck with more than $100,000 in sanctions after a state appellate court found his violations were egregious.

  • May 29, 2020

    AdventHealth Sues Attorney Over Failed $57.5M Masks Deal

    Adventist Health System says a California attorney and a company that failed to deliver on a $57.5 million deal for 10 million N95 masks have refused to return $2 million in escrow funds even though the deal fell apart, according to a suit filed Friday in Florida.

  • May 29, 2020

    Latham Facing DQ Bid From Ex-Clients In Ponzi Scheme Suit

    Two title and insurance companies being sued by investors over an alleged Ponzi scheme have asked a California state judge to disqualify Latham & Watkins LLP from representing the investors, saying Latham's defense of the companies in a previous Ponzi case gives the firm a conflict as it goes against the businesses now.

  • May 29, 2020

    Funder Wants Out Of Pierce Bainbridge Representation Case

    Litigation funder Pravati Capital LLC moved to exit a suit filed by a Pennsylvania attorney against it and Pierce Bainbridge over the alleged theft of a case involving the Gears of War video game, saying that since the case was unsuccessful, any claim against the funder for unjust enrichment was invalid.

  • May 29, 2020

    Sidley Can Continue As Boy Scouts' Ch. 11 Counsel

    A Delaware judge on Friday ruled that Sidley Austin LLP can continue as counsel in the Boy Scouts of America's Chapter 11 despite a challenge from an insurer who asserted the firm was conflicted due to its previous representation of the insurer in other matters.

  • May 29, 2020

    Pa. Law Firm Sued Over Client's $134M Unpaid Judgment

    A private equity financier has filed suit against Pittsburgh law firm Elliott & Davis PC and its client, the husband of a high-profile Indian technology executive, saying the firm has been paid with funds owed to the lender as part of a $134 million judgment in a separate case.

  • May 29, 2020

    LA Sheriff's Attys Survive DQ Bid In Race Bias Suit

    A California federal judge has denied a bid to disqualify a firm from representing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in a civil rights case because it employed a paralegal who once worked for the firm representing the man who filed the case, rejecting allegations that the worker "switched sides."

  • May 28, 2020

    Atty Says Suit Over VidAngel's $62M Trial Loss Is Barred

    The bankruptcy trustee for VidAngel can't sue a former company lawyer over work he did for the streaming service years before it lost a $62 million copyright case to major Hollywood studios, the attorney told a Utah federal court.  

  • May 28, 2020

    Express Scripts Loses Bid To Probe Emails In Antitrust Case

    Express Scripts Inc. may not use an "overbroad" discovery request to dig through years of emails belonging to a consultant for an Illinois city that filed a proposed class action over drugmaker Mallinckrodt's purported scheme to drive up the cost of a hormone treatment, an Illinois federal judge has ruled.

  • May 28, 2020

    DOJ Says BigLaw Firms Put FBI Agent At Risk Of COVID-19

    Major drug companies represented by Covington & Burling LLP and other BigLaw firms "jeopardized the health" of an FBI agent by serving subpoenas at his home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a U.S. Department of Justice filing in opioid crisis litigation.

  • May 28, 2020

    Fla. High Court Says Suspended Attys Can't Contact Clients

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday amended Florida bar rules to ban suspended or disbarred attorneys who work for legal services providers from being supervised by former subordinates and from contacting clients.

  • May 28, 2020

    NJ Court Challenged Over Prolonged Sealing Of FCA Cases

    The U.S. Department of Justice and the New Jersey federal court are "eviscerating" the transparency of the judiciary by indefinitely taking whistleblower cases off the public record, a medical device maker said in a Thursday suit.

  • May 28, 2020

    Basketball League Calls Quinn A Qatar 'Spy' In Commish Case

    Heading into a fight over a seven-figure legal bill, a three-on-three basketball league co-led by entertainer Ice Cube filed a New York lawsuit Thursday accusing Quinn Emmanuel of being a "spy" for Qatar when it represented the organization known as Big3.

Expert Analysis

  • How Lawyers Can Network Better, Virtually And In Person

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    The current decrease in formality and increase in common ground due to the work-from-home environment can make it easier to have a networking conversation, says Megan Burke Roudebush at Keepwith.

  • Practical Tips For Presenting Your Case To Litigation Funders

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    One mistake that attorneys commonly make when presenting a case to a third-party funder is focusing almost exclusively on liability and giving short shrift to the damages analysis — resulting in an aspirational damages estimate that falls apart under scrutiny, say Cindy Ahn and Justin Maleson at Longford Capital and Casey Grabenstein at Saul Ewing.

  • Avoiding Inadvertent Privilege Waivers In E-Communications

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    Attorneys at WilmerHale highlight recent developments in privilege law, the significant challenges raised by nontraditional working arrangements popularized during the pandemic, and ways to avoid waiving attorney-client privilege when using electronic communications.

  • Opinion

    Don't Cancel Your Summer Associate Programs

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    While pulling off an effective summer associate program this year will be no easy feat, law firms' investments in their future attorneys should be considered necessary even during this difficult time, says Summer Eberhard at Major Lindsey.

  • 5 Ways To Reduce Post-Pandemic Legal Malpractice Exposure

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    History suggests that legal malpractice claims will rise following the current economic downturn, and while a certain percentage of the claims will be unavoidable, there are prophylactic steps that law firms can take, says John Johnson at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Opinion

    Credibility Concerns About Virtual Arbitration Are Unfounded

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    Concerns that videoconferenced arbitration hearings compromise an arbitrator's ability to reliably resolve credibility contests are based on mistaken perceptions of how many cases actually turn on credibility, what credibility means in the legal world, and how arbitrators make credibility determinations, says Wayne Brazil at JAMS.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Client Service Continuity Planning

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    Ensuring uninterrupted client service and compliance with ethical obligations in a time when attorneys are more likely to fall ill means taking six basic — yet often ignored — steps to build some redundancy and internal communication into legal practice, say attorneys at Axinn.

  • Virtual Meetings Could Be Fertile Ground For Legal Discovery

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    Many remote meeting technologies include recording features as default settings, raising three primary concerns from a legal discovery and data retention perspective, and possibly bringing unintended consequences for companies in future litigation, says Courtney Murphy at Clark Hill.

  • Opinion

    Flynn Judge Should Not Change Role Of Amicus Curiae

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    As an appellate attorney who has authored numerous amicus briefs, I am deeply concerned about some fast-moving developments in the case of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, where a D.C. federal judge is transforming amici curiae into 11th-hour prosecutorial intermeddlers, says Lawrence Ebner at Capital Appellate.

  • The Role Of Remote Mediation After The Crisis Is Over

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    When the dark cloud of COVID-19 has passed and resolution centers are once again peopled with warring parties and aspiring peacemakers, remote mediations will likely still be common, but they are not going to be a panacea for all that ails the dispute resolution industry, says Mitch Orpett at Tribler Orpett.

  • 7 Steps To Romancing The Virtual Classroom

    Excerpt from Lexis Practice Advisor
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    For professors, trainers, lawyers, students and businesses grappling with the unexpected challenges of distance learning, trial attorney and teacher James Wagstaffe offers best practices for real-time online instruction.

  • Key Return-To-Work Considerations For Law Firms

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    There may be precious little notice before the legal community ramps up, so it's important to have return-to-work plans that address the unique challenges law firms will face in bringing employees back to offices, say attorneys Daniel Gerber, Barbara O'Connell and Richard Tucker.

  • A Creative Solution For Teaching Local Practice In Law School

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    To help prepare my students to navigate local practice, I wrote a set of rules for the classroom that mimics those they might encounter from a local judge or court, says Michael Zuckerman at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.

  • With Friends Like These: The Amicus Questions In Flynn Case

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    A D.C. federal judge's recent appointment of amicus curiae to address whether the Michael Flynn case can proceed is reminiscent of the judicial overreach that the U.S. Supreme Court criticized and reversed this month in U.S. v. Sineneng-Smith, says Lawrence Ebner at Capital Appellate Advocacy.

  • Making Law Firm Panels Work For The Cost-Conscious GC

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    General counsel may be tempted to resort to matter-level requests for proposals in the wake of the COVID-19 economic crisis, but alternatively, a singular, global RFP process — to select a panel of law firms for all legal needs — can reduce legal spend while fostering long-term relationships, say Vivek Hatti, formerly at Avis Budget Group, and Jaron Luttich at Element Standard.

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