Legal Ethics

  • April 18, 2024

    Sidney Powell Dodges Sanctions From Texas Bar

    Embattled Trump attorney Sidney Powell has dodged sanctions from the Texas state bar's disciplinary wing, with a state appellate court ruling Thursday that the Commission for Lawyer Discipline didn't bring enough solid arguments to the table to merit a redo of the case.

  • April 17, 2024

    Ethics Panel Douses Judge DQ Talk In 5th Circ. CFPB Case

    A judicial ethics panel has concluded that recusal isn't automatically required for the Fifth Circuit judge whose financial disclosures have fueled calls for his disqualification from litigation challenging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's $8 credit card late fee rule.

  • April 17, 2024

    No Sanctions For Wordy Footnotes In Google Maps Case

    A California federal judge will not sanction attorneys representing Google Maps customers in an antitrust action for their "numerous and excessively long footnotes" after the lawyers on Wednesday explained it wasn't a tactic for avoiding page limits and promised not to do it again.

  • April 17, 2024

    'It Has To End': Justices Mull Finality In 32-Year Murder Saga

    In its second review of drug-fueled, baseball bat killings during the presidency of George H.W. Bush, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday pondered steering an Arizona man's capital punishment challenge toward conclusion, perhaps by handling evidentiary tasks normally left to lower courts.

  • April 17, 2024

    UC Berkeley Law Dean Vouches For Dunn At Disciplinary Trial

    University of California, Berkeley School of Law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky testified as a character witness Wednesday in attorney Joseph Dunn's disciplinary trial, saying he holds the ousted California State Bar executive director in the highest regard, and his opinion is unlikely to change whatever the trial's outcome.

  • April 17, 2024

    'I Am Mad': Client Regrets Trusting Atty Accused Of Tax Fraud

    Emotions ran high Wednesday in a North Carolina federal courtroom as former clients unwittingly roped into an alleged tax fraud scheme took the stand, one of whom was openly exasperated at learning he'd been misled by the two attorneys and an insurance agent who are on trial.

  • April 17, 2024

    Discovery Sanction Too Severe In $1M Vape Case, Panel Says

    An Illinois appeals court has found that a default judgment granted against a vape shop accused of causing a customer's burn injuries, which led to a $1 million bench verdict, was too severe of a sanction for defense counsel's failure to timely comply with certain discovery requests.

  • April 17, 2024

    Mintz Sues Parking Meter Co. Over $4.3M IP Legal Bill

    Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC sued parking meter provider Duncan Parking Technologies Inc. and its parent company, CivicSmart Inc., in Massachusetts federal court Tuesday, accusing its former clients of owing $4.3 million in unpaid legal fees and interest for representing CivicSmart in a since-settled patent litigation.

  • April 17, 2024

    Menendez Trial Date In Limbo Over Pact On Atty's Testimony

    A co-defendant's reticence has stalled an agreement on the scope of a Gibbons PC attorney's testimony in the bribery case of U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez and two New Jersey businessmen, leaving the much-litigated trial date of May 6 in limbo.

  • April 17, 2024

    Ex-Trump Atty: Colo. Discipline Claims Barred By Prior Case

    Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis has told a Colorado disciplinary judge that the state can't bring a pair of new claims against her for criminal conduct and dishonesty related to her guilty plea in Georgia, arguing that the state could have investigated those issues in an earlier case but did not.

  • April 17, 2024

    Ga. High Court Urged To Broaden Atty Malpractice Time Limit

    Counsel for an Atlanta restaurateur urged the Supreme Court of Georgia on Wednesday to revive a malpractice claim against his former lawyer by allowing for a more expansive statute of limitations when breach of contract claims enter the mix.

  • April 17, 2024

    SpaceX's NLRB Suit Stays In Calif. After 5th Circ. Deadlock

    SpaceX's challenge to the National Labor Relations Board's constitutionality will be heard in California federal court after the full Fifth Circuit deadlocked Wednesday on the company's bid for review of a panel decision letting the suit's transfer from Texas stand.

  • April 17, 2024

    Bankman-Fried Appeal May Cite Unusual Preview Testimony

    Sam Bankman-Fried's appeal of his conviction and 25-year prison sentence may cite a "rather unprecedented" trial procedure in which the FTX founder gave provisional testimony before officially taking the witness stand last year, one of his attorneys said Wednesday.

  • April 17, 2024

    Managing Partner Pilfered Exiting Atty's Gmail, Regulator Says

    The managing partner of a six-attorney Hartford, Connecticut, personal injury and employment law firm threatened to gin up a criminal probe and ordered downloads from the personal Gmail account of a departing attorney, according to a post-trial brief by disciplinary authorities seeking the partner's one-year suspension.

  • April 17, 2024

    GOP Sens. Raise Ethical Concerns Over 6th Circ. Nominee

    Republicans went after a nominee for the Sixth Circuit during a hearing on Wednesday over allegations that he has behaved unethically as a prosecuting attorney, and that the White House picked him through a "backroom deal."

  • April 17, 2024

    Colo. Judge Slams Attys For Petty 'Squabbles' In Patent Fight

    A Colorado federal judge on Wednesday roundly rebuked lawyers fighting over patents for oil and gas equipment for filing "needless" motions that seemed to reflect their "interpersonal squabbles" rather than the interests of their clients, and threatened to sanction the attorneys if they ever drag the court into another petty fight.

  • April 17, 2024

    Acclaimed Legal Scholar Earns ABA Ethics Award

    The American Bar Association on Wednesday announced that this year's recipient of its Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award will be Susan Fortney, a Texas A&M University School of Law professor and ethics expert whose research has earned her international recognition.

  • April 17, 2024

    Ga. DAs Revive Legal Fight Over Prosecutor Watchdog

    A bipartisan group of Georgia district attorneys has brought a fresh legal challenge to the state's new Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission, calling the body unconstitutional in a new lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court on Tuesday.

  • April 17, 2024

    'Fat Leonard' Prosecutors Say 5 More Plea Deals Tainted

    Federal prosecutors in San Diego have agreed to let several former U.S. Navy officers withdraw their felony pleas in the "Fat Leonard" bribery scandal, citing "serious" lapses that wiped out other convictions in the high-profile case.

  • April 17, 2024

    Ga. Justices To Examine 'Actual Malice' In Atty's Libel Case

    The Supreme Court of Georgia has agreed to take up a contentious defamation case, pitting an orthopedic surgeon against a defense attorney known for criticizing "litigation networks" of plaintiffs attorneys and doctors, that could determine how difficult it is to sue attorneys accused of bad-mouthing third parties to other attorneys.

  • April 17, 2024

    Financial Planner Gets Prison For Tax Shelter Fraud Scheme

    A Cleveland financial planner who colluded with a Florida attorney to promote an illegal tax scheme using fake charitable donations to score deductions for his company's high-income clients was sentenced Tuesday to 20 months in prison for his part in the fraud.

  • April 16, 2024

    Ex-Calif. Bar Exec Denies Expensing Trip As Ethics Trial Starts

    Former California State Bar executive Joseph Dunn took the stand Tuesday on the first day of his disciplinary trial over claims he lied about bar funds used for a trip to Mongolia in 2014, maintaining he never sought reimbursement for expenses incurred in Mongolia other than his phones' roaming charges. 

  • April 16, 2024

    Nothing 'Sinister' About Attys, Broker's Tax Plan, NC Jury Told

    Two St. Louis attorneys and a North Carolina insurance agent on Tuesday tried to poke holes in an undercover IRS agent's investigation of what the government has characterized as a criminal tax avoidance scheme, which defense counsel sought to paint for the jury as a legal interpretation of federal tax law.

  • April 16, 2024

    Winston & Strawn Settles Brief-Plagiarizing Allegations

    A Tuesday filing indicated that Winston & Strawn LLP has managed to settle copyright infringement allegations coming from a boutique intellectual property firm that went to a federal court in Manhattan to accuse the BigLaw firm of copying a motion-to-dismiss filing "nearly verbatim."

  • April 16, 2024

    Appeals Court Won't Block 3M 'Fishing Expedition' Deposition

    A state appeals court on Tuesday declined to halt a presuit deposition requested by 3M Co. against a Texas attorney to investigate claims that the lawyer was aware of false statements his co-counsel made in a coal-related lung disease suit out of Kentucky.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Djerassi On Super Bowl 52

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    Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Ramy Djerassi discusses how Super Bowl 52, in which the Philadelphia Eagles prevailed over the New England Patriots, provides an apt metaphor for alternative dispute resolution processes in commercial business cases.

  • Considerations For Lawyer Witnesses After FTX Trial

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    Sam Bankman-Fried's recent trial testimony about his lawyers' involvement in FTX's business highlights the need for attorney-witnesses to understand privilege issues in order to avoid costly discovery disputes and, potentially, uncover critical evidence an adversary might seek to conceal, says Lawrence Bluestone at Genova Burns.

  • Employee Experience Strategy Can Boost Law Firm Success

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    Amid continuing business uncertainty, law firms should consider adopting a holistic employee experience strategy — prioritizing consistency, targeting signature moments and leveraging measurement tools — to maximize productivity and profitability, says Haley Revel at Calibrate Consulting.

  • Series

    Competing In Triathlons Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    While practicing law and competing in long-distance triathlons can make work and life feel unbalanced at times, participating in the sport has revealed important lessons about versatility, self-care and perseverance that apply to the office as much as they do the racecourse, says Laura Heusel at Butler Snow.

  • Opinion

    History Reveals Folly Of Absolute Presidential Immunity

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    As a federal appeals court grapples with former President Donald Trump’s claims that he’s immune from prosecution on election interference charges, it’s a fitting time for lawyers to reflect on the rule of law — from 13th century jurisprudence to Watergate and the Clinton impeachment — and how the idea of absolute presidential immunity is unwise, says attorney Steven Reske.

  • Where Justices Stand On Chevron Doctrine Post-Argument

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    Following recent oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court, at least four justices appear to be in favor of overturning the long-standing Chevron deference, and three justices seem ready to uphold it, which means the ultimate decision may rest on Chief Justice John Roberts' vote, say Wayne D'Angelo and Zachary Lee at Kelley Drye.

  • Perspectives

    6 Practice Pointers For Pro Bono Immigration Practice

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    An attorney taking on their first pro bono immigration matter may find the law and procedures beguiling, but understanding key deadlines, the significance of individual immigration judges' rules and specialized aspects of the practice can help avoid common missteps, says Steven Malm at Haynes Boone.

  • Lessons From Country Singer's Personal Service Saga

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    Recent reports that country singer Luke Combs won a judgment against a Florida woman who didn’t receive notice of the counterfeit suit against her should serve as a reminder for attorneys on best practices for effectuating service by electronic means, say attorneys at Jenner & Block.

  • Series

    Baking Bread Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    After many years practicing law, and a few years baking bread, I have learned that there are a few keys to success in both endeavors, including the assembly of a nourishing and resilient culture, and the ability to learn from failure and exercise patience, says Rick Robinson at Reed Smith.

  • Federal Courts And AI Standing Orders: Safety Or Overkill?

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    Several district court judges have issued standing orders regulating the use of artificial intelligence in their courts, but courts should consider following ordinary notice and comment procedures before implementing sweeping mandates that could be unnecessarily burdensome and counterproductive, say attorneys at Curtis.

  • Wachtell-X Ruling Highlights Trend On Arbitrability Question

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    A growing body of case law, including a California state court's recent decision in X Corp. v. Wachtell, holds that incorporation of specific arbitral body rules in an arbitration provision may in and of itself constitute clear and unmistakable evidence of delegation of arbitrability to an arbitrator, and thus such clauses should be drafted carefully, say attorneys at Norton Rose.

  • 7 E-Discovery Predictions For 2024 And Beyond

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    The legal and technical issues of e-discovery now affect virtually every lawsuit, and in the year to come, practitioners can expect practices and policies to evolve in a number of ways, from the expanded use of relevancy redactions to mandated information security provisions in protective orders, say attorneys at Littler.

  • On The Edge: Lessons In Patent Litigation Financing

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    A federal judge's recent request that the U.S. Department of Justice look into IP Edge patent litigation, and that counsel be disciplined, serves as a reminder for parties asserting intellectual property rights — and their attorneys — to exercise caution when structuring a litigation financing agreement, say Samuel Habein and James De Vellis at Foley & Lardner.

  • 5 Litigation Funding Trends To Note In 2024

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    Over the next year and beyond, litigation funding will continue to evolve in ways that affect attorneys and the larger litigation landscape, from the growth of a secondary market for funded claims, to rising interest rates restricting the availability of capital, says Jeffery Lula at GLS Capital.

  • Opinion

    Stronger Attorney Rules Are Needed To Avoid A Jan. 6 Repeat

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    Given the key role lawyers played in the events leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, the legal profession must shore up its rules before this year’s presidential election to make clear that lawyers who undermine the rule of law will face severe penalties, including disbarment, says Ray Brescia at Albany Law School.

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