Legal Ethics

  • February 26, 2024

    Wash. Atty Disbarred Over Unrefunded Client Fees

    A Washington employment attorney who collected tens of thousands of dollars in fees from numerous clients whose legal work she never completed has been forced to give up her law license.

  • February 26, 2024

    Fla. Men Receive Probation In Sweepstakes Fraud Scheme

    Two men accused of defrauding elderly people of millions of dollars in a sweepstakes scheme were sentenced to probation Monday in Florida federal court, more than a month after each pled guilty to a wire fraud charge that they were previously convicted of, but had vacated due to prosecutorial misconduct.

  • February 26, 2024

    Cole Scott Fights DQ Bid In Fla. Over Atty's Prior Work

    Cole Scott & Kissane PA has told a Florida federal court that the firm should not be disqualified from defending a car wreck lawsuit because a partner's representation of the plaintiff in a prior personal injury lawsuit involved a completely unrelated vehicle accident.

  • February 26, 2024

    Manhattan DA Seeks Trump Gag Order For Hush Money Trial

    The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has asked a New York state judge to limit what Donald Trump can say publicly about the upcoming hush money trial against him, referencing Trump's history of intimidating and harassing witnesses, jurors, attorneys and court staff.

  • February 26, 2024

    Feds Say Fla. Atty Can't Undo COVID Relief Fraud Conviction

    A U.S. attorney's office has pushed back on a Florida lawyer's bid to vacate her conviction in Georgia federal court of conspiring to defraud a coronavirus pandemic relief program, saying the government doesn't have to prove she was "behind the keyboard" when the applications were submitted to be convicted of the charges.

  • February 26, 2024

    Burford, Sysco Object To Nixed Swap In Price-Fixing Suits

    Restaurant food distributor Sysco and a Burford Capital affiliate both objected to a federal magistrate judge's decision not to allow the affiliate to replace Sysco in sprawling price-fixing lawsuits against pork and beef producers, asserting that the denial contravenes civil procedure rules and public policy.

  • February 26, 2024

    Voters Fight DeSantis' Bid To End Prosecutor Suspension Suit

    Two voters are urging a Florida federal judge not to throw out their suit challenging Gov. Ron DeSantis' suspension of elected prosecutor Monique Worrell, saying the case brings "plausible claims" of "egregious and norm-breaking constitutional violations" by the governor.

  • February 26, 2024

    Trump Fights With State Over Cell Data Use In Willis DQ Bid

    District Attorney Fani T. Willis of Fulton County, Georgia, and former President Donald Trump are once again facing off in court, this time over whether cellphone data purporting to show late night visits between Willis and a special prosecutor can be used in a bid to disqualify Willis and her office from prosecuting the Georgia election interference case.

  • February 26, 2024

    Fla. Judge Admits To Ethics Claims For Lengthy Case Backlog

    A Florida state judge whose backlog of pending judgments stretched more than two years has agreed to a public reprimand, expressing "regret that his actions have tarnished the judiciary, created hardships for the litigants' awaiting rulings, and potentially damaged the public's perception of an effective judicial system."

  • February 23, 2024

    'Copy-And-Paste Errors' Not Worth Sanctions, Texas Judge Says

    A federal magistrate judge in Waco, Texas, says he doesn't think "some copy-and-paste errors" are enough to hook a prolific litigator of patent lawsuits to paying legal fees in a shell company's latest failed campaign against Salesforce.

  • February 23, 2024

    Smirnov's Attys May Be Trying To Help Him Flee, Judge Says

    A California federal judge indicated Thursday that counsel for Alexander Smirnov, the former FBI informant charged with fabricating reports that President Joe Biden and his son took bribes from a Ukrainian company, are trying to get Smirnov released ahead of trial "likely to facilitate his absconding from the United States."

  • February 23, 2024

    Tribal Biz Atty Must Meet Calif. DA Over Greenhouse Wreckage

    A California federal judge has ordered the lawyer for a business owned by a tribal conglomerate to attend a hearing with San Bernardino County's district attorney, saying the lawyer must explain why he forced the DA to file a unilateral status report about the destruction of illegal cannabis greenhouses.

  • February 23, 2024

    State Farm Alleges Health Co. Violated Deal To Drop 366 Suits

    Two State Farm units are accusing an automobile accident-focused healthcare center of wrongly pursuing 366 lawsuits against the insurer despite a settlement agreement State Farm said requires the facility to drop those suits.

  • February 23, 2024

    Md. Judge Won't Toss Ex-Baltimore State's Atty's Conviction

    A Maryland federal judge has refused to acquit former Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby of lying on mortgage applications for a vacation home, rejecting her contention that charges were brought in the wrong venue and finding that prosecutors put forward sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find her guilty.

  • February 23, 2024

    Gov.'s Romantic Ties To Top Court Pick May Spark Recusals

    Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey's selection of a former romantic partner to serve on the state's Supreme Judicial Court could be grounds for the justice to recuse herself from certain cases, though those scenarios would be relatively rare, legal ethics experts told Law360.

  • February 23, 2024

    Colo. Judge Rejects Trump's Atty Fee Bid In Ballot DQ Suit

    A Colorado state judge has denied former President Donald Trump's bid for over $165,000 in attorney fees in a lawsuit seeking to bar him from the ballot in the upcoming presidential election, with the judge finding one of the dropped claims was not frivolous.

  • February 23, 2024

    DC Appeals Panel Receptive To Ex-DOJ Atty's Subpoena Fight

    A D.C. Court of Appeals panel on Friday appeared open to former U.S. Department of Justice attorney Jeffrey Clark's request that the court reconsider enforcing a subpoena from the D.C. bar's disciplinary counsel pursuing ethics charges against Clark for his alleged role in promoting Donald Trump's false election fraud narrative.

  • February 23, 2024

    New 'Varsity Blues' Judge Should Hear Plea Redo, Parent Says

    A former television executive looking to have her guilty plea wiped out in the "Varsity Blues" college admissions case asked Friday for a different judge, arguing that U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton's "incorrect" ruling is the basis for her motion to vacate her conviction.

  • February 23, 2024

    Judge Nixes McCarter & English Client's Relief Bid In Fee Row

    A Connecticut federal judge rejected a bid for Second Circuit relief from a supplement company that lost a billing battle with its former lawyers at McCarter & English LLP, concluding Friday that the Connecticut Supreme Court should offer guidance on whether state law allows punitive damages awards in contract disputes.

  • February 23, 2024

    Judge Reverses Self, Says Hurricane Ad Suit Should Continue

    Reversing her earlier decision, a federal magistrate judge has issued a preliminary ruling in favor of a woman who alleges that troubled Houston law firm McClenny Moseley & Associates PLLC and associated companies bombarded Louisiana hurricane victims with illegal marketing.

  • February 23, 2024

    Ex-Dechert Atty Can Keep Depo Confidential In Hacking Case

    A former Dechert LLP partner can keep her deposition under wraps in an airline mogul's suit seeking to prove an international hacking conspiracy, a special master in North Carolina has ruled in a blow to the tycoon, who accused the attorney of trying to shield misconduct.

  • February 23, 2024

    Ex-Professor Atty Hits NJ University With Retaliatory Firing Suit

    New Jersey City University has been slammed with a lawsuit in state court from an attorney and former professor who claims he was demoted and then fired in retaliation for reporting that a former university official allegedly sexually harassed a student.

  • February 23, 2024

    Trump Flags Thousands Of Calls, Texts In Fani Willis DQ Bid

    As a bid to oust Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis over her relationship with a prosecutor in Donald Trump's election interference case garners support, the former president pointed Friday to thousands of text messages and dozens of visits to back up the defense argument that the relationship began before Willis hired the prosecutor.

  • February 23, 2024

    Mich. Ex-Judge Disbarred For Sending Explicit Texts To Client

    A former Michigan state chief judge was disbarred after he sent sexually explicit text messages to a client, encouraged that client to drink while they were on probation, and practiced while his license was suspended following a drunk driving plea.

  • February 23, 2024

    Conn. Attys Agree To Arbitrate Their Twin Conversion Claims

    Two Connecticut attorneys who sued each other over defamation, secretly accepting home improvement projects as payment for legal services and neglecting business responsibilities at a joint firm they agreed to dissolve in 2021, have dropped their dueling state court claims.

Expert Analysis

  • Why Fed. Circ. Affirmed Attorney Fee Award In PersonalWeb

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    A recent Federal Circuit decision to leave a $5.2 million fee award in place in the PersonalWeb patent case underscores district courts' discretion to sanction unreasonable arguments and litigation tactics under the U.S. Code's attorney fee provision, say attorneys at Shearman. 

  • Law Firm Strategies For Successfully Navigating 2024 Trends

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    Though law firms face the dual challenge of external and internal pressures as they enter 2024, firms willing to pivot will be able to stand out by adapting to stakeholder needs and reimagining their infrastructure, says Shireen Hilal at Maior Consultants.

  • The Most-Read Legal Industry Law360 Guest Articles Of 2023

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    A range of legal industry topics drew readers' attention in Law360's Expert Analysis section this year, from associate retention strategies to ethical billing practices.

  • Attorneys' Busiest Times Can Be Business Opportunities

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    Attorneys who resolve to grow their revenue and client base in 2024 should be careful not to abandon their goals when they get too busy with client work, because these periods of zero bandwidth can actually be a catalyst for future growth, says Amy Drysdale at Alchemy Consulting.

  • In The World Of Legal Ethics, 10 Trends To Note From 2023

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    Lucian Pera at Adams and Reese and Trisha Rich at Holland & Knight identify the top legal ethics trends from 2023 — including issues related to hot documents, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity — that lawyers should be aware of to put their best foot forward.

  • Opinion

    Animal Rights Are About Saving Nature, And Our Own Future

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    The climate crisis makes it clear that animal law — conceived of as an ecocentric approach to protecting the most vulnerable nonhumans who depend on the natural environment — is essential to restoring the Earth and safeguarding the future of humanity, says Carter Dillard at the Fair Start Movement.

  • The Ethics Of Accepting Advanced Legal Fees In Crypto

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    State and local bar associations have been weighing in on whether attorneys may accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment in advance of providing legal services, but the answer is frequently a fact-specific inquiry that demands close reading of the rules of professional conduct, say Matthew Feinberg and Jeffrey Cunningham at Goldberg Segalla.

  • How Attorneys Can Be More Efficient This Holiday Season

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    Attorneys should consider a few key tips to speed up their work during the holidays so they can join the festivities — from streamlining the document review process to creating similar folder structures, says Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben.

  • 5 Gifts That May Run Afoul Of Government Ethics Rules

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    As the holiday season ramps up, it’s essential to keep in mind that government officials and employees are all subject to specific gift rules, and related violations can lead to consequences far worse than coal in one’s stocking, say Mark Renaud and Rob Walker at Wiley.

  • 3 Defense Takeaways From The Bankman-Fried Trial

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    FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent fraud conviction offers several key lessons for future white collar defendants, from the changing nature of cross-examination to the continued risks of taking the stand, say Jonathan Porter and Gregg Sofer at Husch Blackwell.

  • Series

    Children's Book Writing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Becoming a children's book author has opened doors to incredible new experiences of which I barely dared to dream, but the process has also changed my life by serving as a reminder that strong writing, networking and public speaking skills are hugely beneficial to a legal career, says Shaunna Bailey at Sheppard Mullin.

  • How Clients May Use AI To Monitor Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Artificial intelligence tools will increasingly enable clients to monitor and evaluate their counsel’s activities, so attorneys must clearly define the terms of engagement and likewise take advantage of the efficiencies offered by AI, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge D'Emic On Moby Grape

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    The 1968 Moby Grape song "Murder in My Heart for the Judge" tells the tale of a fictional defendant treated with scorn by the judge, illustrating how much the legal system has evolved in the past 50 years, largely due to problem-solving courts and the principles of procedural justice, says Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Matthew D'Emic.

  • The Basics Of Law Firm Cyber Liability Insurance Applications

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    Cyber liability insurance has become a common consideration for law firms as cyber threats have escalated, but these insurance forms can be quite complicated given the nature of the industry and associated risks, so simply filling out the form won't necessarily result in an ideal policy for your firm, says Kevin Haight at WAMS.

  • Series

    Performing Music Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    The discipline of performing live music has directly and positively influenced my effectiveness as a litigator — serving as a reminder that practice, intuition and team building are all important elements of a successful law practice, says Jeff Wakolbinger at Bryan Cave.

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