Legal Ethics

  • 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.

  • February 23, 2024

    Fla. Fraud Convict Says His Prosecutors Weren't Authorized

    A Florida man serving time in federal prison for investment fraud argued in a complaint on Friday that the assistant U.S. attorneys assigned to his case were not authorized to prosecute him.

  • February 23, 2024

    NY Clerk Defends Barring Felons From Juries In Dismissal Bid

    New York County's commissioner of jurors has urged a federal judge to dismiss a Black public defender's racial bias suit challenging the Manhattan court system's exclusion of people with felony convictions from juries, arguing the attorney fails to allege the exclusion was applied with a discriminatory motive or in a discriminatory way.

  • February 23, 2024

    Trump Says He Has Immunity In Classified Docs Case

    Former President Donald Trump filed a slew of motions late Thursday night asking a Florida federal judge to dismiss the criminal charges against him over the alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, arguing that he has presidential immunity from prosecution and that the appointment of the special counsel is unlawful.

  • February 22, 2024

    Calif. Judges Get Guidance On When To Report Atty Misconduct

    California judges need not always report attorney misconduct to the state bar, according to the latest opinion issued by the California Supreme Court's ethics watchdog on Thursday, advising when judges are compelled to report attorney misdeeds.

  • February 22, 2024

    Attys Settle Yacht Donor's Malpractice Suit Over $4.6M Tax Bill

    A New York law firm and two attorneys have settled what remained of a malpractice suit brought by a former client who alleged faulty legal advice led to her being slapped with a $4.6 million tax bill, with a joint stipulation of dismissal filed Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Game Maker Deserves Sanctions For Sealed Docs, Court Told

    High 5 Games and its attorneys should be slapped with sanctions for repeatedly trying to seal nearly all company records and filing overly long court briefs in a class action accusing the casino phone game developer of defrauding players, according to a motion filed by the lead plaintiff.

  • February 22, 2024

    Trump Atty Sanctioned For Filing IP Suit On Gut Feelings

    A Florida federal judge has sanctioned an attorney who said he could "just know" if a product infringed his client's patents, rather than conducting a factual investigation — a move that the attorney claimed was backlash for representing former President Donald Trump elsewhere.

  • February 22, 2024

    IP Forecast: Samsung Eyes Ex-Attys' Litigation Funder Chats

    Samsung plans to ask a Texas court to force a patent litigation business to disclose communications with litigation funders ahead of a trial next month over whether the tech giant's former in-house counsel stole trade secrets. Here's a look at that case — plus all the other major intellectual property matters on deck in the coming week.

  • February 22, 2024

    OpenSky Tells Vidal VLSI Fees Relied On 'Fabricated' Exhibit

    OpenSky Industries LLC has asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office director to reconsider making it pay $413,000 in attorney fees to VLSI Technology, arguing in a newly unsealed filing that she failed to justify the award and allowed records "fabricated" by VLSI. 

  • February 22, 2024

    US Can't Appeal Order To Give Avenatti's Tax Info To Trustee

    A California federal judge declined Wednesday to allow the U.S. to appeal a bankruptcy court's decision ordering Michael Avenatti's tax returns to be released to the trustee overseeing the estate of Eagan Avenatti LLP's bankruptcy, finding the decision to be unappealable, and Avenatti himself hasn't objected to the disclosure.

  • February 22, 2024

    Law Firm Sued For Using Photo Of Disgraced OB-GYN Online

    A professional photographer has accused Dallas-based The Schmidt Firm PLLC of copyright infringement over an image of convicted sexual abuser and former Columbia University obstetrician-gynecologist Robert Hadden, saying in Texas federal court that the firm used the image on its website without permission.

  • February 22, 2024

    3rd Circ. Won't Protect AbbVie's Atty-Client Communications

    The Third Circuit has denied AbbVie Inc.'s bid to block a Pennsylvania federal court's order to turn over attorney communications from a patent case allegedly cooked up just to extend the company's monopoly on a testosterone drug, but the appellate court's explanation remained under seal Thursday.

  • February 22, 2024

    Wolverine Wants Judgment, Sanctions In PFAS Coverage Row

    Footwear company Wolverine asked a Michigan federal court Thursday to grant it a win and impose additional sanctions against its insurer for continued "flagrant disregard and willful disobedience of discovery orders" in a dispute over coverage of PFAS chemical injury suits that may set the tone for similar litigation.

  • February 22, 2024

    DraftKings Says Ex-Exec's $310K Attys Fees Bid Is Excessive

    DraftKings has told a California federal court that the "whopping" $310,000 in attorney fees requested by a former executive after the company shuffled the case back and forth between state and federal court is an unreasonable fee no "reasonable client" would pay.

  • February 22, 2024

    Disbarred Pa. Attorney Faces Forgery, Tampering Charges

    A disbarred Pennsylvania attorney now faces criminal charges for allegedly presenting fake court documents to clients with forged signatures of judges while pretending to litigate dismissed lawsuits.

  • February 22, 2024

    Law Firm Scolded For 'Misbegotten' ChatGPT Use In Fees Bid

    A Manhattan federal judge criticized a special education-focused law firm Thursday for citing ChatGPT calculations to back up its attorney fee request of more than $100,000, calling the move "utterly and unusually unpersuasive."

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • 4 Legal Ethics Considerations For The New Year

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    As attorneys and clients reset for a new year, now is a good time to take a step back and review some core ethical issues that attorneys should keep front of mind in 2024, including approaching generative artificial intelligence with caution and care, and avoiding pitfalls in outside counsel guidelines, say attorneys at HWG.

  • What The Law Firm Of The Future Will Look Like

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    As the legal landscape shifts, it’s become increasingly clear that the BigLaw business model must adapt in four key ways to remain viable, from fostering workplace flexibility to embracing technology, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • 4 PR Pointers When Your Case Is In The News

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    Media coverage of new lawsuits exploded last year, demonstrating why defense attorneys should devise a public relations plan that complements their legal strategy, incorporating several objectives to balance ethical obligations and advocacy, say Nathan Burchfiel at Pinkston and Ryan June at Castañeda + Heidelman.

  • 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. 

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