Legal Ethics

  • February 27, 2024

    Firm Accused Of 'Racial Panhandling' In Its Tax Collection Biz

    Calling the property tax collection business in Texas a "white-boys-only club," a Black attorney in Houston has sued an area firm in state court, alleging it hired him to secure a government contract by appearing diverse and then stiffed him on money he is owed for the legal work he performed.

  • February 26, 2024

    AmEx Fights To Arbitrate Merchant's Girardi-Linked Suit

    An attorney for American Express Co. urged a California federal judge on Monday to reconsider his tentative ruling declining to force a costume merchant to arbitrate malicious prosecution claims over charges disputed by Erika Girardi, saying the agreement in question applies to the merchant and not just his company.

  • February 26, 2024

    Fed. Circ. Affirms Freshub Didn't Lie To Revive Patent App

    The Federal Circuit on Monday upheld a Texas federal court's ruling that Amazon's Alexa voice assistant didn't infringe voice-processing system patents owned by Freshub and that Freshub didn't use nefarious means to obtain those patents.

  • February 26, 2024

    Proud Boys' Attys Can't Escape IP Suit In DC

    A D.C. federal judge has denied a bid to throw out a copyright suit from a group of criminal defense attorneys who represented members of the Proud Boys involved in the insurrection of Jan. 6, 2021.

  • February 26, 2024

    Stimwave Prosecutors Accused Of Brady Violation Mid-Trial

    The former CEO of Stimwave Technologies has alleged in the middle of her criminal fraud trial that the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office withheld key evidence about proffer meetings, teeing up a potential Brady fight before a skeptical judge.

  • February 26, 2024

    NC Legal Advice Law Fight Targets Wrong Party, AG Says

    A North Carolina nonprofit challenging a state law banning anyone but a fully licensed attorney from offering legal advice has sued the wrong party, the state attorney general's office said Monday in seeking to have the case tossed.

  • February 26, 2024

    Chancery Says 'Game Over' On Fee Windfalls For Easy Cases

    A Delaware vice chancellor has publicly slammed stockholder attorneys who sought an $850,000 fee for "minuscule" hours spent on a corporate benefit case after a recent string of suits filed to police stockholder rights to separate class votes on company transactions.

  • February 26, 2024

    Miffed NC Biz Court Mulls Sanctions After Missed Deadlines

    A North Carolina Business Court judge on Monday chided counsel on both sides of an employment dispute for missing important deadlines on the eve of a jury trial, causing him to postpone the trial indefinitely and contemplate dismissing the case entirely.

  • February 26, 2024

    Ex-Atty's Retaliation Suit Must Go, NJ Atty Ethics Office Says

    The New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics reiterated to a federal court Monday that a retaliation suit from a disbarred attorney lacks the detail needed to go to discovery and ignores the fact that some of the defendants are immune to being sued individually.

  • February 26, 2024

    Conn. Client Pans Firm's Late Reveal Of Prior Email Mess

    An optometrist who claims a fraudster infiltrated her lawyer's email system and tricked her into wiring $90,586 to an incorrect account has challenged the firm's "very late post-trial disclosure" of five pages of emails about an alleged earlier incident, saying the messages are relevant to her own case.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Breaking Down High Court's New Code Of Conduct

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    The U.S. Supreme Court recently adopted its first-ever code of conduct, and counsel will need to work closely with clients in navigating its provisions, from gift-giving to recusal bids, say Phillip Gordon and Mateo Forero at Holtzman Vogel.

  • Opinion

    Legal Profession Gender Parity Requires Equal Parental Leave

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    To truly foster equity in the legal profession and to promote attorney retention, workplaces need to better support all parents, regardless of gender — starting by offering equal and robust parental leave to both birthing and non-birthing parents, says Ali Spindler at Irwin Fritchie.

  • Series

    Writing Thriller Novels Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Authoring several thriller novels has enriched my work by providing a fresh perspective on my privacy practice, expanding my knowledge, and keeping me alert to the next wave of issues in an increasingly complex space — a reminder to all lawyers that extracurricular activities can help sharpen professional instincts, says Reece Hirsch at Morgan Lewis.

  • What Lawyers Must Know About Calif. State Bar's AI Guidance

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    Initial recommendations from the State Bar of California regarding use of generative artificial intelligence by lawyers have the potential to become a useful set of guidelines in the industry, covering confidentiality, supervision and training, communications, discrimination and more, say attorneys at Debevoise.

  • Industry Must Elevate Native American Women Attys' Stories

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    The American Bar Association's recent research study into Native American women attorneys' experiences in the legal industry reveals the glacial pace of progress, and should inform efforts to amplify Native voices in the field, says Mary Smith, president of the ABA.

  • Understanding Discovery Obligations In Era Of Generative AI

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Attorneys and businesses must adapt to the unique discovery challenges presented by generative artificial intelligence, such as chatbot content and prompts, while upholding the principles of fairness, transparency and compliance with legal obligations in federal civil litigation, say attorneys at King & Spalding.

  • Asserting 'Presence-Of-Counsel' Defense In Securities Trials

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    As illustrated by the fraud trial of FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, defense attorneys in securities trials might consider arguing that counsel had some involvement in the conduct at issue — if the more formal advice-of-counsel defense is unavailable and circumstances allow for a privilege waiver, say Joseph Dever and Matthew Elkin at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Key Takeaways From DOJ's Recent FARA Advisory Opinions

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    The U.S. Department of Justice recently published several redacted advisory opinions on the Foreign Agents Registration Act, clarifying its current thinking on when a person or entity is required to register as a foreign agent under the statute, and when they may qualify for an exemption, says Tessa Capeloto at Wiley Rein.

  • The Case For Post-Bar Clerk Training Programs At Law Firms

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    In today's competitive legal hiring market, an intentionally designed training program for law school graduates awaiting bar admission can be an effective way of creating a pipeline of qualified candidates, says Brent Daub at Gilson Daub.

  • Attorneys Have An Ethical Duty To Protect The Judiciary

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    The tenor of public disagreement and debate has become increasingly hostile against judges, and though the legislative branch is trying to ameliorate this safety gap, lawyers have a moral imperative and professional requirement to stand with judges in defusing attacks against them and their rulings, says Deborah Winokur at Cozen O'Connor.

  • AI Can Help Lawyers Overcome The Programming Barrier

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    Legal professionals without programming expertise can use generative artificial intelligence to harness the power of automation and other technology solutions to streamline their work, without the steep learning curve traditionally associated with coding, says George Zalepa at Greenberg Traurig.

  • Preparing Law Students For A New, AI-Assisted Legal World

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    As artificial intelligence rapidly transforms the legal landscape, law schools must integrate technology and curricula that address AI’s innate challenges — from ethics to data security — to help students stay ahead of the curve, say Daniel Garrie at Law & Forensics, Ryan Abbott at JAMS and Karen Silverman at Cantellus Group.

  • General Counsel Need Data Literacy To Keep Up With AI

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    With the rise of accessible and powerful generative artificial intelligence solutions, it is imperative for general counsel to understand the use and application of data for myriad important activities, from evaluating the e-discovery process to monitoring compliance analytics and more, says Colin Levy at Malbek.

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