Legal Ethics

  • February 14, 2024

    Miami Law Firm Not Covered In Overbilling Row, Judge Says

    An insurer does not have to defend a Miami law firm in a lawsuit accusing it of overbilling a client, a Florida federal judge has ruled, finding that the underlying allegations do not constitute professional services as defined by the firm's policy.

  • February 14, 2024

    Ex-Atty Can't Delay Prison Amid Pot Bribe Appeal, Judge Says

    A Boston federal judge on Wednesday shot down a former Massachusetts attorney's request to put off his 24-month prison sentence while appealing his conviction for bribing a local police chief to boost his client's retail cannabis application.

  • February 13, 2024

    Attys Must Reveal Possible Tie To 'Disturbing' Flint PR Move

    A Michigan federal judge on Tuesday tore into attorneys for a water engineering firm being sued for its alleged role in the Flint water crisis, warning them of severe repercussions if they are found to be involved in a campaign to disparage opposing counsel.

  • February 13, 2024

    Insurer Can't Toss Claims As Sanctions In Hotel Fire Suit

    A Colorado federal judge has rejected an insurer's request to toss a construction contractor's counterclaims as sanctions for discovery failures in a dispute over a $3 million hotel fire, with the judge finding no problems with a magistrate judge's decision to instead award attorney fees and costs.

  • February 13, 2024

    Judge Disqualifies Alston & Bird Over Conflict In IP Case

    A California federal judge granted Rocket Resume's request to withdraw Alston & Bird LLP as its counsel in a copyright suit against Bold Ltd., which had previously asked to disqualify the firm over its past legal work for Bold.

  • February 13, 2024

    $1.37M Conn. Contract Suit Revived After Counsel Secured

    A federal breach of contract lawsuit arising from the construction of an apartment complex in Hartford can proceed now that the plaintiff has secured new counsel, a judge in the District of Connecticut ruled Tuesday in overturning her own decision to kill the case last October.

  • February 13, 2024

    'Rust' Armorer's Phone Snafu Shows Risks Of Texting Clients

    A legal dust-up over compromised text messages between a movie prop weapons expert and her lawyer in the "Rust" film shooting case raises questions about whether attorneys should text with clients and serves as a cautionary tale for prosecutors and the defense on the importance of protecting privileged communications, experts say.

  • February 13, 2024

    Trans Inmate Wins Move To Women's Prison After 6-Year Saga

    An incarcerated person with gender dysphoria will be moved to a women's prison and is on track to receive gender-affirming care after a Massachusetts federal judge found that her rights had been violated, ending a six-year wait for a ruling in a case that had stalled on the docket.

  • February 13, 2024

    AI-Generated Fake Case Law Leads To Sanctions In Wage Suit

    The owner of a Missouri-based technology business that was ordered to pay an ex-employee roughly $311,000 in unpaid wages, damages and legal costs was sanctioned Tuesday by an appellate court for briefing "deficiencies," including submitting fake cases generated by artificial intelligence.

  • February 13, 2024

    Ex-Atty Appealing Pot Bribe Conviction Says Prison Can Wait

    A former Massachusetts attorney convicted over an alleged cannabis licensing quid pro quo told a Boston federal judge Tuesday that multiple close-call legal issues warrant a delay of his 24-month prison sentence until the First Circuit decides his forthcoming appeal.

  • February 13, 2024

    Cuomo Says Law Firms Won't Comply With Subpoenas

    Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to force law firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Vladeck Raskin & Clark PC to turn over information about the women whose sexual misconduct accusations forced him to resign, even as those women accuse Cuomo of "blatantly" weaponizing his taxpayer-funded attorneys to mount a "revenge" campaign through the courts.

  • February 13, 2024

    NJ Judge Fights Ethics Charges Over Aide's Remote Work

    A New Jersey state judge is fighting an ethics complaint alleging that he improperly let his secretary work remotely, arguing that he believed he had the discretion to make that kind of working arrangement and, at most, he made an "honest mistake" in that regard.

  • February 13, 2024

    Ex-DraftKings Exec's Attys Seek $310K For Court Pingpong

    Lawyers for a former DraftKings Inc. executive who recently defected to rival Fanatics are seeking more than $310,000 in attorney fees, arguing the amount is reasonable and would cover their work for two "objectively unreasonable" removals of the case to federal court by DraftKings, behavior they called "disturbing litigation conduct."

  • February 13, 2024

    Fla. Atty Says Philly Firm Can't Sue Her In Sunshine State

    A Florida attorney urged a Sunshine State federal court to throw out the counterclaims and affirmative defenses of a Philadelphia-based personal injury firm, arguing Florida law cannot be applied to their dispute over claims she was running a side business as a litigation fee expert.

  • February 13, 2024

    Fla. Judge Drops Bid To Avoid Depo In Rival's Ethics Case

    A Florida state appellate judge told the state's highest court Tuesday he will comply with a disciplinary panel's order for him to sit for a deposition in an ethics case against a former campaign rival.

  • February 13, 2024

    Fired McElroy Deutsch Exec Pursues Firm Leaders' Amex Info

    A former executive at McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP, who is accused with her husband of stealing over $3 million from the firm, doubled down on her discovery request this week for corporate credit card statements from several firm leaders, rejecting the argument that their credit card use is not comparable to hers.

  • February 13, 2024

    Ex-Wilson Elser Atty Can't Get Benefits For Chronic Fatigue

    A former Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP partner is not entitled to long-term disability benefits, as he did not prove that his chronic fatigue syndrome kept him from doing his job, a Nevada federal judge has ruled.

  • February 13, 2024

    Detroit Judge Staves Off Ethics Charge Over Lying Witness

    Michigan's judicial watchdog fully dismissed Monday an ethics complaint against a Detroit judge alleging he facilitated perjury from a confidential informant while he was a prosecutor, though two commissioners said there was evidence to support that he lied about knowing the informant's true motivations.

  • February 12, 2024

    Retailer Sues Zimmerman Reed To End Privacy 'Shakedown'

    Zimmerman Reed LLP and thousands of its clients are unlawfully conspiring to "weaponize" a California wiretapping law in bringing a crush of arbitration claims against L'Occitane over its website user tracking practices, the cosmetics and home goods retailer alleged in urging a California federal court to put an end to this "shakedown."

  • February 12, 2024

    Google Wins More Atty Fees In 'Frivolous' IP Suit

    A California federal judge on Monday awarded Google additional attorney fees and costs in a patent infringement suit brought by EscapeX IP, saying the patent assertion entity's objections to the initial fee award were "frivolous" and constituted "recklessness."

  • February 12, 2024

    Ex-Levi & Korsinsky Partner Drops Sex Bias Suit Against Firm

    A former partner at Levi & Korsinsky LLP on Monday permanently dropped her New York federal court lawsuit alleging sex-based discrimination and retaliation.

  • February 12, 2024

    Fani Willis' DQ From Trump Case 'Possible,' Ga. Judge Says

    The Georgia state judge presiding over the election interference case against former President Donald Trump said Monday that "it's possible" Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis' admitted relationship with a top prosecutor on the case could end in her disqualification, and is allowing a hearing on the issue planned for this week to go forward.

  • February 12, 2024

    Andes, Oxy Resolve $392M Ecuadorian Award Fight

    An Occidental Petroleum unit has resolved its feud with a Chinese-owned oil company over a $392 million arbitral award stemming from an ill-fated Ecuadorian oil project, a case that Occidental was attempting to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • February 12, 2024

    Ex-McCarter & English Client Can Pursue $20M Loan Claims

    A Connecticut state court judge has denied a bid by McCarter & English LLP and a former partner for an early win in an insurance company's multimillion-dollar malpractice suit, ruling that the continuing representation doctrine allowed the plaintiff to toll the statute of limitations and continue to press its case.

  • February 12, 2024

    Flint Water Crisis Firms Agree To End Settlement Fee Dispute

    Three law firms that negotiated a $626 million settlement related to the Flint, Michigan, water crisis reached a settlement of their own on Monday after McAlpine PC agreed to end claims that Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PC and Pitt McGehee Palmer Bonanni & Rivers PC unfairly cut it out of their original co-counsel agreement.

Expert Analysis

  • Pro Bono Work Is Powerful Self-Help For Attorneys

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    Oct. 22-28 is Pro Bono Week, serving as a useful reminder that offering free legal help to the public can help attorneys expand their legal toolbox, forge community relationships and create human connections, despite the challenges of this kind of work, says Orlando Lopez at Culhane Meadows.

  • Series

    Playing In A Rock Cover Band Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Performing in a classic rock cover band has driven me to hone several skills — including focus, organization and networking — that have benefited my professional development, demonstrating that taking time to follow your muse outside of work can be a boon to your career, says Michael Gambro at Cadwalader.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Espinosa On 'Lincoln Lawyer'

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    The murder trials in Netflix’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” illustrate the stark contrast between the ethical high ground that fosters and maintains the criminal justice system's integrity, and the ethical abyss that can undermine it, with an important reminder for all legal practitioners, say Judge Adam Espinosa and Andrew Howard at the Colorado 2nd Judicial District Court.

  • What Panama Canal Award Ruling Means For Int'l Arbitration

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    As the prevalence of international arbitration grows, the Eighth Circuit’s recent decision in Grupo Unidos v. Canal de Panama may change how practitioners decide what remedies to seek and where to raise them if claims are rejected, says Jerry Roth at FedArb.

  • Opinion

    Newman Suspension Shows Need For Judicial Reform

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    The recent suspension of U.S. Circuit Judge Pauline Newman following her alleged refusal to participate in a disability inquiry reveals the need for judicial misconduct reforms to ensure that judges step down when they can no longer serve effectively, says Aliza Shatzman at The Legal Accountability Project.

  • How And Why Your Firm Should Implement Fixed-Fee Billing

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    Amid rising burnout in the legal industry and client efforts to curtail spending, pivoting to a fixed-fee billing model may improve client-attorney relationships and offer lawyers financial, logistical and stress relief — while still maintaining profit margins, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Needs Defense Amid Political Threats

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    Amid recent and historic challenges to the judiciary from political forces, safeguarding judicial independence and maintaining the integrity of the legal system is increasingly urgent, says Robert Peck at the Center for Constitutional Litigation.

  • How Law Firms Can Use Account-Based Marketing Strategies

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    Amid several evolving legal industry trends, account-based marketing can help law firms uncover additional revenue-generating opportunities with existing clients, with key considerations ranging from data analytics to relationship building, say Jennifer Ramsey at stage LLC and consultant Gina Sponzilli.

  • Strategic Succession Planning At Law Firms Is Crucial

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    Senior partners' reluctance to retire, the rise of the nonequity partner tier and generational differences in expectations are all contributing to an increasing number of departures from BigLaw, making it imperative for firms to encourage retirement among senior ranks and provide clearer leadership pathways to junior attorneys, says Laura Leopard at Leopard Solutions.

  • Maximizing Law Firm Profitability In Uncertain Times

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    As threats of an economic downturn loom, firms can boost profits by embracing the power of bottom-line management and creating an ecosystem where strategic financial oversight and robust timekeeping practices meet evolved client relations, says Shireen Hilal at Maior Strategic Consulting.

  • Alleged $636M Deal Error Highlights Ethics Considerations

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    Adelman v. Proskauer, a malpractice suit that allegedly arose from a cut-and-paste error resulting in potential damages of $636 million, presents an intriguing juxtaposition of facts and legal issues — and practical ethical considerations for transactions attorneys, says Richard Leisner at Trenam Law.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Reminds Attys That CBP Can Search Devices

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent Malik v. Department of Homeland Security decision adds to the chorus of federal courts holding that border agents don’t need a warrant to search travelers’ electronic devices, so attorneys should consider certain special precautions to secure privileged information when reentering the U.S., says Jennifer Freel at Jackson Walker.

  • Alleged $636M Deal Error Shows Value Of Old-School Methods

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    Though Proskauer Rose has now settled claims involving a copy-paste error in deal documents that could have resulted in $636 million in damages, the debacle reminds attorneys that classic revision methods using paper copies can help avoid drafting errors and actually save time in the long run, says Richard Leisner at Trenam.

  • Twitter Sanction Highlights Privacy Law's Complexity

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    The D.C. Circuit's recent decision to uphold a sanction against X Corp., formerly known as Twitter, for failing to produce account records in response to a subpoena highlights the importance of understanding the Stored Communications Act, particularly when deciding to produce or not produce data, says Cary Aronovitz at Holland & Knight.

  • Avoiding The Ethical Pitfalls Of Crowdfunded Legal Fees

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    The crowdfunding of legal fees has become increasingly common, providing a new way for people to afford legal services, but attorneys who accept crowdsourced funds must remember several key ethical obligations to mitigate their risks, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Julienne Pasichow at HWG.

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