Legal Ethics

  • February 21, 2024

    Judge Floats Sanctions For Union's 'Bad Faith' Recusal Bid

    A Michigan federal judge won't recuse himself from a defamation case involving two unions after a claim was raised that he expressed bias against the East Coast, instead asking the defendants why sanctions shouldn't be imposed for "bad faith" litigating.

  • February 21, 2024

    Bankman-Fried Gets New Attys After Waiving Crypto Conflict

    A Manhattan federal judge signed off Wednesday on Sam Bankman-Fried's choice of new counsel ahead of his fraud sentencing, despite the fact that the convicted FTX founder's new team represents an indicted ex-crypto CEO whose interests may conflict with his own.

  • February 21, 2024

    Cochran Firm Rachets Up Fee Fight With Ex-Associate

    The Cochran Firm California is escalating its ongoing dispute over attorney fees with a former associate, alleging in a new lawsuit that the now-departed lawyer lied to a managing partner about her relationship with a client with a lucrative claim.

  • February 21, 2024

    How Trump's Hush Money Trial Helps Or Hurts Jack Smith

    Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's porn star hush money case against Donald Trump is set to be the first criminal trial of a former president in U.S. history, a development that carries potential risks and benefits for special counsel Jack Smith, especially as one expert characterized the New York case as "legally and factually weak."

  • February 21, 2024

    Law Firms Rip Cuomo Subpoenas As 'Abusive' And 'Wasteful'

    Law firms Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP and Vladeck Raskin & Clark PC said in a letter Tuesday filed in federal court that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's subpoena regarding their sex harassment investigation "is plainly improper and is another in a string of abusive and wasteful tactics."

  • February 21, 2024

    Barnes & Thornburg Beats Ga. Malpractice Claim On Appeal

    A Georgia state appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim brought by a trustee for a former Barnes & Thornburg LLP client, finding there was "no merit" to her arguments that the firm violated the standard of care and sunk the trust's insurance suit.

  • February 21, 2024

    NY Judge Trims American Idol Singer's Suit Against NY Atty

    A New York federal judge on Wednesday trimmed a suit against an attorney from a former American Idol contestant, allowing the artist to proceed only with her breach of fiduciary duty and faithless servant claims.

  • February 21, 2024

    Ex-Bank CEO Ends Holland & Knight Overbilling Suit

    Republic First Bancorp's former CEO Vernon Hill II ended his lawsuit accusing Holland & Knight LLP of overcharging him with a $7 million bill for what he claimed was "ineffective and unsatisfactory" representation in legal matters over his ouster from the bank.

  • February 21, 2024

    Giuliani Seeks New Trial, Will Appeal $148M Defamation Award

    Rudy Giuliani is urging a Washington, D.C., federal judge to rethink a jury verdict directing him to pay $148 million to two Georgia election workers he was found liable for defaming as he tees up an appeal of the jury award to the D.C. Circuit.

  • February 20, 2024

    Giuliani Can Contest $148M Fine But Not With His Own Money

    A New York bankruptcy judge on Tuesday allowed Rudy Giuliani to seek a new trial for $148 million in damages he was ordered to pay for defaming two Georgia poll workers, but said the former mayor can't use money from his bankruptcy estate to pay his legal bills.

  • February 20, 2024

    Ill. Public Defender Sues Over Display Of Israeli Army Photo

    An Illinois public defender filed a First Amendment lawsuit against her county employer after she was reprimanded for a photograph of her holding a gun in front of an Israeli flag that she displayed in an office area in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.

  • February 20, 2024

    Epstein's Attorney, Accountant Accused Of Aiding Trafficking

    Two survivors of sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein claim his longtime lawyer and accountant played essential parts in the disgraced financier's sex trafficking enterprise by creating a complex financial infrastructure to keep the money flowing, according to a proposed class action filed in New York federal court.

  • February 20, 2024

    Colo. Justices Ban Disbarred Atty From Filing Pro Se Actions

    The Colorado Supreme Court on Tuesday banned a disbarred attorney from filing pro se actions in the state, with the justices finding the former lawyer has continued her "vexatious" abuse of state courts despite sanctions and fee awards from multiple trial courts.

  • February 20, 2024

    How Future Litigators Are Training In A 'Flight Simulator'

    Law students who would traditionally experience only a few courtroom scenarios over a semester have begun working with programs that can provide an entire array of courtroom curveballs, thanks to large language model artificial intelligence technology.

  • February 20, 2024

    Kirkland Can't Get 'Invasive' Atty Info From 2 BigLaw Firms

    A California federal magistrate judge barred Kirkland & Ellis LLP from subpoenaing confidential personnel information from a former intellectual property associate's prior employers, Paul Hastings LLP and Fish & Richardson PC, in its defense against her discrimination suit, ruling that Kirkland's subpoena requests are "invasive," irrelevant and "amazingly broad."

  • February 20, 2024

    Ill. Judge Scolds Defense Attys On Discovery: 'This Is Insanity'

    A Cook County judge trimmed a lawsuit Tuesday brought by investors alleging financial mismanagement of the firm behind celebrated Chicago restaurant Maple & Ash, but lambasted defense counsel for dragging out discovery, saying she was "flabbergasted" that they left out information in discovery responses that she ordered them to include late last year.

  • February 20, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Avoids Prison For Ch. 11 Lies

    A former BigLaw partner on Tuesday was spared any prison time for lying to a New York bankruptcy court in his 2022 personal Chapter 11 case, in an attempt to shield his assets from creditors.

  • February 20, 2024

    Georgia Attorney Disbarred For Court Lies, Hiding Money

    The Supreme Court of Georgia has stripped an Atlanta-area attorney of her license to practice in the Peach State, ruling the drastic move was appropriate after the lawyer's years of lies to a state court regarding the location of $80,000 tied up in a contract dispute.

  • February 20, 2024

    Policyholder Attys Say Firm's Mailer Row Merits Coverage

    The North Carolina Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over whether a law firm accused of violating the Driver's Privacy Protection Act by using personal information to market legal services to crash victims is entitled to coverage under an excess policy, as policyholder attorneys anticipate a win for the firm. Here, Law360 breaks down the case in advance of the hearing.

  • February 20, 2024

    Justices Decline Malpractice Dispute Over $6M Settlement

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the appeal of a Massachusetts legal malpractice suit in which Lubin & Meyer PC was accused, and cleared by a lower court, of pressuring a family into accepting a $6 million settlement that the family claims could have been higher.

  • February 20, 2024

    Fox Rothschild AI Chief Talks 'Terrifying' Deepfakes, Biased AI

    Mark McCreary, the chief artificial intelligence and information security officer at Fox Rothschild, leads his firm's internal AI strategy and provides counsel to other law firms trying to bushwhack their path through the often murky AI legal landscape, rife with hallucinated case law citations and disturbingly real deepfakes.

  • February 20, 2024

    Sullivan & Cromwell Accused Of Aiding FTX Fraud

    Sullivan & Cromwell LLP has been accused of knowing about and helping facilitate the massive fraud that brought down cryptocurrency exchange FTX while serving as FTX's outside counsel, and profiting on the back end by overseeing FTX's ongoing bankruptcy, according to a racketeering lawsuit filed last week.

  • February 20, 2024

    Epic Calls Apple's $73M Fees Bid An Overreach

    Epic Games blasted Apple on Friday for seeking $73.4 million in legal fees following the pair's California federal court antitrust battle over App Store payment fees, arguing that antitrust claims like Epic's are immune from legal fees and that Apple cannot wrap its demands in successful contract breach counterclaims.

  • February 20, 2024

    Girardi Keese Trustee Recovers $1.8M In Fees For Exide Case

    A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved an agreement between the Girardi Keese bankruptcy trustee, a former attorney for the firm and the Mandell Law Firm to end an adversary proceeding connected to $1.8 million in attorney fees from a lawsuit over the toxic Exide battery plant in Vernon, California.

  • February 20, 2024

    Los Angeles FBI Head, Recused From Girardi Case, Retires

    The head of the FBI's Los Angeles office, who recused himself from investigations into indicted ex-lawyer Tom Girardi, has retired after nearly a year and a half in the post, the agency said Tuesday.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • How Judicial Privilege Shields Attys Facing Wiretap Violations

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    A recent ruling from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, as well as past rulings across the country, indicates that the judicial privilege is applicable to alleged violations of wiretapping laws, so attorneys presented with audio evidence beneficial to their case should not fear being sued, says David Scott at Kang Haggerty.

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