Legal Ethics

  • April 09, 2024

    Mo. Gets OK To Execute Man Repped By Flat-Fee Lawyers

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to halt the looming execution of a convicted murderer who claimed that his attorneys' flat-fee contracts incentivized them to push him to plead guilty before they secured promises from prosecutors not to pursue a death sentence.

  • April 09, 2024

    Court OKs Decision Clearing Contractor Of Missed IP Deadline

    A patent docketing contractor used by major remote law firm FisherBroyles can't be held liable for a "clerical mistake" that led to a missed patent application deadline and then a neurosurgeon's lawsuit potentially seeking nearly $102 million, with a Georgia appeals court affirming a lower court decision that the surgeon never should have relied on those dates in the first place.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ga. Firm Fights Sanctions Bid For Pursuing COVID-19 Suit

    A Georgia law firm has urged a federal court to reject a sanctions motion against it for pursuing claims that businesses failed to protect a worker against catching COVID-19, arguing the bid is untimely and saying the companies made misleading statements about the case in their request.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ex-DraftKings Exec Loses Bid For $310K In Atty Fees

    A California federal judge will not award the $310,000 in attorney fees a former DraftKings executive claims it cost to handle the ping-ponging of his lawsuit between federal and state court, ruling the removal at the behest of his ex-employer was "suspect" but not unreasonable.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ex-Client Wants Records Of Seward & Kissel Calls In NJ Suit

    The wife of a billionaire hedge fund founder is fighting to keep a subpoena alive for phone records of calls between her husband and Seward & Kissel LLP, telling a New Jersey state court they will show the firm helped cheat her out of marital assets when she filed for divorce.

  • April 09, 2024

    Atty Gets 5-Year Suspension After Tax Fraud Conviction

    Citing the case's harm to the reputation of lawyers, a Connecticut state court judge has suspended a real estate, personal injury and criminal defense lawyer for five years over a federal income tax fraud conviction, issuing a punishment beyond what disciplinary authorities suggested.

  • April 09, 2024

    Nonprofit Seeks Over $300K Atty Fees Over X Defamation Win

    A nonprofit organization focused on challenging hate speech asked a California federal judge to approve more than $300,000 in attorney fees following a successful defense against Elon Musk and social platform X Corp.'s claims over an allegedly defamatory article.

  • April 09, 2024

    'Education Lawyers' Challenge Isn't Over At TTAB, Firm Says

    Jacobson & John LLP's claim that its use of the marketing phrase "The Education Lawyers" has gone unchallenged for five years blatantly misled a Pennsylvania federal court about the phrase's incontestability as a trademark, according to a rival firm's bid to keep its trademark challenge alive there.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ex-Legal Tech Exec Says Co. Sued Just To Preempt Her Suit

    A former business executive at a Texas law firm and legal technology company called on a Texas federal court Monday to toss her former employer's lawsuit against her, claiming the company and its founders attempted to preempt her New York lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and unlawful termination.

  • April 09, 2024

    Ex-Prosecutor Intruded In NJ Grant Money Probe, Report Says

    A New Jersey investigator looking into allegations of grant fund misuse in the Warren County Prosecutor's Office found sufficient evidence that James Pfeiffer, who abruptly resigned Friday as county prosecutor, made statements that could have intimidated witnesses, the state attorney general's office said in a new report.

  • April 09, 2024

    ​​​​​​Locke Lord Slams 'Faulty' Stance On Malpractice Row Venue

    Texas-based Locke Lord LLP has objected to an oil company's expert affidavit filed amid a malpractice suit alleging the firm and its former attorney bungled a transaction involving a North Dakota oil refinery project, redoubling its argument that New Jersey state court is not a proper venue for the complaint.

  • April 09, 2024

    Trump Loses 2nd Appellate Bid To Pause NY Criminal Trial

    A New York state appellate judge refused Tuesday to delay Donald Trump's upcoming criminal hush-money trial while the former president challenges a gag order, just one day after a different appeals judge declined to halt the trial due to supposed jury pool bias.

  • April 08, 2024

    Fed. Circ. Says Law Taken Out Of Context In IP Fraud Defense

    U.S. Circuit Judge Todd Hughes on Monday told the attorney for the owner of a patent enforcement company that his attempt to beat a contempt order for his client involved reading a key rule out of context.

  • April 08, 2024

    Feds Tell Justices Trump's Immunity Bid Would Upset Framers

    Former President Donald Trump's claim to absolute presidential immunity from criminal charges related to official acts contradicts the text and intent of the U.S. Constitution and would've been "anathema" to the document's framers, special counsel John L. "Jack" Smith told the U.S. Supreme Court late Monday.

  • April 08, 2024

    Canadian Atty Settles SEC's Penny Stock Claims For $335K

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has inked a $335,000 settlement with a Canadian lawyer to end claims that he enabled a penny stock fraud scheme by working with a California trader as an unregistered broker, court filings on Monday show.

  • April 08, 2024

    Attys Have Duty To Defend Judges, ABA President Says

    The American Bar Association's president on Monday warned that attacks on judges and the U.S. court system have skyrocketed in recent years and urged lawyers to stand up for the judicial process by defending judges who are unjustly criticized.

  • April 08, 2024

    Norton, Quinn Emanuel Rip Contempt Order In $600M IP Case

    A more than $600 million judgment against NortonLifeLock for infringing Columbia University patents, based partly on a contempt finding against its former law firm, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, is "indefensible" and cannot stand, the company and the firm have told the Federal Circuit.

  • April 08, 2024

    District Judge Upholds Kwok Daughter, Law Firm Sanctions

    A Connecticut federal judge has upheld a bankruptcy judge's $83,370 sanction against the daughter of bankrupt Chinese exile Ho Wan Kwok, saying the record is "abundantly clear" that she, her company and her lawyers stalled and tried to avoid subpoenas from Kwok's bankruptcy trustee.

  • April 08, 2024

    Wells Fargo Knew Of Ex-Texas Atty's Fraud, Victims Claim

    Victims of a former Texas attorney's multimillion-dollar fraud urged a Lone Star State federal court on Monday to keep alive their lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo Bank NA of enabling the scheme, arguing the bank was aware the lawyer was misusing clients' money and profited from the arrangement.

  • April 08, 2024

    Sheriff Wants Out Of Civil Rights Suit Over NC Court Software

    A North Carolina sheriff has asked for an early exit from a proposed class action alleging the state's new digital court system has led to unlawful arrests and detentions, saying most of the claims pertain to state officials and the company that built the software rather than any wrongdoing on his part.

  • April 08, 2024

    Trump Allies Rip 'Odor Of Mendacity' In Pushing Willis DQ

    A Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group has urged the Georgia Court of Appeals to remove Fulton County District Attorney Fani T. Willis from prosecuting former President Donald Trump and other defendants in the 2020 election interference case, saying her romantic relationship with a since-resigned special prosecutor created "an odor of mendacity."

  • April 08, 2024

    Trump Seeks Appeal On 1st Amendment Grounds In Ga. Case

    Former President Donald Trump and his remaining 13 co-defendants asked a Georgia state court judge for permission to appeal a decision in which he refused to drop the criminal charges leveled against them in the state's election interference case on free speech grounds.

  • April 08, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Takes Stalking Injunction Bid To State Court

    A former Greenberg Traurig LLP partner suing a social media influencer in a $150 million case alleging the influencer falsely accused the attorney of abuse in online videos on Monday moved to Florida state court an injunction petition to have the videos taken down. 

  • April 09, 2024

    CORRECTED: Ex-SDNY Clerk, Atty Get Prison For Referral Scheme

    A former court clerk in the Southern District of New York was sentenced to two years in prison Monday and a disbarred defense attorney was hit with a year-long term for an alleged cash-for-referrals scheme.

  • April 08, 2024

    Ex-Paralegal Launches Whistleblower Suit Against NJ Firm

    An ex-paralegal at New Jersey personal injury law firm Brandon J. Broderick LLC says his former employer created an uncomfortable work place when he reported alleged ethical violations to management.

Expert Analysis

  • Lessons From High-Profile Witness Tampering Allegations

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    As demonstrated by recent developments in the cases against former President Donald Trump and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, allegations of witness tampering can carry serious consequences — but attorneys can employ certain strategies to mitigate the risk that accusations arise, says Kenneth Notter at MoloLamken.

  • Covington Ruling Strengthens SEC's Enforcement Powers

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    A Washington, D.C., federal court’s recent order that Covington & Burling provide the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with the identities of its clients in response to a subpoena reinforces the agency’s broad authority to investigate cybersecurity violations, and suggests law firms must take steps to strengthen data privacy, say Elisha Kobre and Ryan Dean at Bradley Arant.

  • 'Blind Side' Family Case Is A Cautionary Tale For Attorneys

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    Former NFL player Michael Oher's recent allegations against Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy that they never legally adopted him and tricked him into conservatorship — which paint a very different picture than the 2009 film "The Blind Side" — demonstrate the importance of attorney due diligence and safeguards against abuse of process, says Roland Weekley at Smith Gambrell.

  • The Basics Of Being A Knowledge Management Attorney

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Michael Lehet at Ogletree Deakins discusses the role of knowledge management attorneys at law firms, the common tasks they perform and practical tips for lawyers who may be considering becoming one.

  • To Hire And Keep Top Talent, Think Beyond Compensation

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    Firms seeking to appeal to sophisticated clients and top-level partners should promote mentorship, ensure that attorneys from diverse backgrounds feel valued, and clarify policies about at-home work, says Patrick Moya at Quaero Group.

  • Ethics Issues For Mainland Firms Involved In Maui Fire Suits

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    Before law firms located outside of Hawaii represent clients affected by the Lahaina wildfires, they must be aware of local ethics rules and regulatory gray areas, as any any ethical missteps could have major ramifications for the firm's practice in its home jurisdiction, says Ryan Little at Klinedinst.

  • Perspectives

    More States Should Join Effort To Close Legal Services Gap

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    Colorado is the most recent state to allow other types of legal providers, not just attorneys, to offer specific services in certain circumstances — and more states should rethink the century-old assumptions that shape our current regulatory rules, say Natalie Anne Knowlton and Janet Drobinske at the University of Denver.

  • Identifying Trends And Tips In Litigation Financing Disclosure

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    Growing interest and controversy in litigation financing raise several salient concerns, but exploring recent compelled disclosure trends from courts around the country can help practitioners further their clients' interests, say Sean Callagy and Samuel Sokolsky at Arnold & Porter.

  • Attorneys Using AI Shouldn't Worry About Waiving Privilege

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    As large language models become more advanced, attorneys may be concerned that sending confidential data to companies like OpenAI risks waiving attorney-client or work-product privilege, but there’s nothing about such tools that would negate the reasonable expectation of privacy, say John Tredennick and William Webber at Merlin.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Elrod On 'Jury Duty'

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    Though the mockumentary series “Jury Duty” features purposely outrageous characters, it offers a solemn lesson about the simple but brilliant design of the right to trial by jury, with an unwitting protagonist who even John Adams may have welcomed as an impartial foreperson, says Fifth Circuit Judge Jennifer Elrod.

  • NJ Justices Clarify Bribery Law Scope, But Questions Remain

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    The New Jersey Supreme Court’s recent State v. O'Donnell decision clarified that the state’s bribery law unambiguously applies to candidates for public office, but there are still unresolved questions about how the ruling may affect lobbyists, undeclared candidates and political speech, says Scott Coffina at Pietragallo Gordon.

  • 4 Business-Building Strategies For Introvert Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Introverted lawyers can build client bases to rival their extroverted peers’ by adapting time-tested strategies for business development that can work for any personality — such as claiming a niche, networking for maximum impact, drawing on existing contacts and more, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • Opinion

    3 Ways Justices' Disclosure Defenses Miss The Ethical Point

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    The rule-bound interpretation of financial disclosures preferred by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — demonstrated in their respective statements defending their failure to disclose gifts from billionaires — show that they do not understand the ethical aspects of the public's concern, says Jim Moliterno at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

  • Trump's 'I Thought I Won' Jan. 6 Defense Is Unlikely To Prevail

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    Since being indicted for his alleged attempts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election, former President Donald Trump’s legal team has argued that because he genuinely believed he won, his actions were not fraudulent — but this so-called mistake of fact defense will face a steep uphill battle for several key reasons, says Elizabeth Roper at Baker McKenzie.

  • Caregiver Flexibility Is Crucial For Atty Engagement, Retention

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    As the battle for top talent continues post-pandemic, many firms are attempting to attract employees with progressive hybrid working environments — and supporting caregivers before, during and after an extended leave is a critically important way to retain top talent, says Manar Morales at The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

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