Legal Ethics

  • February 28, 2024

    Gov't Attys Must Mind Confidential Info Or Be DQ'd, ABA Says

    Both current and former government attorneys who take on private clients should look out for instances where their possession of "confidential government information" calls for them to be disqualified from representing a client, according to the latest guidance from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, released Wednesday.

  • February 28, 2024

    Scrubs Co. Must Arbitrate With Its Ex-Atty Over False Ad Loss

    A healthcare apparel company that lost its Lanham Act false advertising suit against a competitor in California federal court must pursue claims against its former lawyer in arbitration, while the company agreed to pursue claims against the lawyer's firm, Michelman & Robinson LLP, a Los Angeles judge ruled Wednesday. 

  • February 28, 2024

    Coats Rose Atty Fired Over Threatening Letter To Judge

    The Texas law firm Coats Rose terminated one of its attorneys believed to have sent intimidating messages on firm letterhead to an immigration judge running for a judgeship in the 151st Civil District Court of Harris County, the firm confirmed to Law360 on Wednesday.

  • February 28, 2024

    Google Attys' 'Fake Privilege' Comments Cited In Search Suit

    The U.S. Justice Department and states accusing Google of monopolizing the online-search market have asked a D.C. federal judge to consider internal chats disclosed in Epic Games' antitrust lawsuit that revealed Google's lawyers discussing "fake privilege" — a practice of unnecessarily involving a lawyer to make an exchange confidential.

  • February 28, 2024

    Calif. Law Firm Beats Disqualification Ruling In HFPA Case

    A California state appeals court on Tuesday said a trial court was wrong to disqualify a law firm from representing a journalist suing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over possession of privileged documents.

  • February 28, 2024

    Ex-DOJ Official Can't Block Witnesses In DC Ethics Case

    Onetime U.S. Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark cannot rely on a slew of privilege arguments to block his former colleagues from testifying in the disciplinary proceeding over his alleged role in promoting Donald Trump's bogus stolen election claims, a District of Columbia ethics panel ruled.

  • February 28, 2024

    Michigan Atty, Trump Ally, In Default For Avoiding Pay Suit

    A default judgment was entered against a Michigan attorney known for pushing former President Donald Trump's unfounded voter fraud claims after a cybersecurity company said she didn't respond to 40 attempts to serve her with a lawsuit claiming she didn't pay for voting machine inspections. 

  • February 28, 2024

    Trump's Co-Defendants Barred From Seeing Classified Docs

    The Florida federal judge overseeing former President Donald Trump's criminal case over allegedly mishandling secret documents after leaving office ruled that Trump's two co-defendants can't review roughly 5,100 pages of classified material marked as evidence, saying it's not "relevant and helpful" to their defense.

  • February 28, 2024

    Erika Girardi Can't Shed Costume Merchant's Suit

    A California federal judge has kept alive a costume merchant's malicious prosecution claim against singer and reality TV star Erika Girardi, saying the merchant showed evidence that Girardi had him wrongfully arrested and prosecuted on made-up fraud charges.

  • February 28, 2024

    Mass. High Court Nominee Who Dated Gov. Confirmed 6-1

    A Massachusetts Appeals Court justice and former WilmerHale partner whose past relationship with Gov. Maura Healey raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest was confirmed 6-1 to a seat on the state's highest court on Wednesday, with several members of the Governor's Council dismissing those concerns.

  • February 28, 2024

    Novant In-House Attys Want Access To Confidential FTC Info

    Novant Health has asked to tweak a protective order in the Federal Trade Commission's merger challenge regarding its $320 million plan to buy two hospitals in North Carolina, saying the current order designates nearly the entire investigative file confidential and is "unworkable."

  • February 27, 2024

    Bankman-Fried Urges No More Than 6.5 Years For FTX Fraud

    FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried asked a Manhattan federal judge late Tuesday for a sentence that releases him "promptly" after his conviction for stealing billions from customers of the now-collapsed crypto exchange, arguing that federal sentencing guidelines recommend no more than six-and-a-half years in prison.

  • February 27, 2024

    Calif. Panel Nixes $47M Verdict Against Atty Over Casino Deal

    A California state appeals court has scrapped a $47 million jury verdict against a lawyer accused of breaching her fiduciary duty to a former client who unsuccessfully sought to buy a stake in a Silicon Valley cardroom, finding there's no direct evidence showing the attorney caused the transaction to fall through.

  • February 27, 2024

    Ex-Girardi Keese Atty Settles With Actress Over Missing Cash

    An actress alleging that Erika Girardi's entertainment company helped her husband's now-defunct law firm, Girardi Keese, hide his clients' stolen money, including $744,000 stolen from her, finalized a $6,000 settlement with one of the firm's attorneys on Tuesday when a California judge signed off on the deal.

  • February 27, 2024

    'I Don't Know' When Ga. DA Romance Began, Witness Says

    The former law partner of Fulton County special prosecutor Nathan Wade, who oversees the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and his Georgia co-defendants, testified Tuesday that he didn't know when Wade's romantic relationship with District Attorney Fani T. Willis began.

  • February 27, 2024

    Wash. Judges Likely To Let Public Defender Keep Workplace Win

    A King County public defender who won a $7 million workplace harassment judgment against her bosses after she was stalked by a client found a receptive appeals panel Tuesday, as the Washington state judges pressed the county to explain how they could unwind a jury's factual findings.

  • February 27, 2024

    Atty Isn't Liable As Husband's Firm Partner, NJ Panel Says

    A New Jersey appellate panel on Tuesday said retired attorney Gail Beran isn't liable for malpractice in connection with her husband's failure to file a bankruptcy on time, because his then-clients didn't rely on the idea that she was a partner when they decided to hire the firm.

  • February 27, 2024

    Attys Get Personal In Mich. Foreclosure Default Fight

    Counsel traded jabs Monday over Michigan counties' tax foreclosure practices, with a lawyer for county treasurers claiming the other side took advantage of a family medical situation to launch a default judgment bid and a plaintiffs' attorney saying the case had ruined his friendship with the other lawyer.

  • February 27, 2024

    Jackson Walker, Kirkland Again Sued Over Judge's Romance

    Jackson Walker and Kirkland & Ellis LLP have been hit with another lawsuit alleging they were aware of a former Texas bankruptcy judge's relationship with a onetime partner of the former firm and failed to disclose it during proceedings worth millions of dollars.

  • February 27, 2024

    Katten Can't Drop Madoff Ch. 7 Clawback Client, Court Rules

    Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP must keep representing French investment fund Access International Advisors in a $2 billion lawsuit filed by the Chapter 7 trustee for Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, a New York bankruptcy judge has ruled, explaining that the potential fallout from dropping AIA ahead of discovery in the case overshadows Katten's concerns that it won't be paid.

  • February 27, 2024

    Calif. Law Firm Can't Shake Arbitration Award In Fees Dispute

    A California state appeals court has affirmed an arbitration award totaling more than $1 million in quantum meruit damages, outstanding contract awards, arbitration fees, expenses and interest for Golden State civil rights firm The Bloom Firm, two years after its partnership with a rival firm unraveled.

  • February 27, 2024

    7th Circ. Chief Defends Discrimination Rules In GOP Letter Reply

    The Seventh Circuit's chief judge has told two Republican senators that the circuit is "committed to ensuring an environment free of discrimination," after the senators wrote to her arguing that at least three Illinois federal judges issued unethical and illegal standing orders to promote participation by newer, female and minority attorneys.

  • February 27, 2024

    Ousted Fla. Atty Eyeing Potential Run After 11th Circ. Ruling

    Suspended state prosecutor Andrew Warren said Monday he may revisit his decision not to seek reelection in light of the Eleventh Circuit ruling reviving his lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, asking the appeals court to speed up the appeal.

  • February 27, 2024

    NJ Panel Rebuffs Patent Atty In Breakup Feud With Ex-Firm

    The efforts of a Garden State intellectual property lawyer to get additional compensation when he cashed out of a law firm partnership in 2019 were rebuffed Tuesday by a New Jersey appellate panel, which tossed his appeal but sent the question of $830,000 in attorney fees back to the trial court for reconsideration.

  • February 27, 2024

    Sheriff, Clerk Tacked On To NC Court Software Class Action

    The Mecklenburg County sheriff and clerk of courts have joined a growing list of defendants in a proposed civil rights class action alleging that North Carolina's new digital court system has led to unlawful arrests and detentions in the Tar Heel State.

Expert Analysis

  • Series

    Cheering In The NFL Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Balancing my time between a BigLaw career and my role as an NFL cheerleader has taught me that pursuing your passions outside of work is not a distraction, but rather an opportunity to harness important skills that can positively affect how you approach work and view success in your career, says Rachel Schuster at Sheppard Mullin.

  • 6 Pointers For Attys To Build Trust, Credibility On Social Media

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    In an era of information overload, attorneys can use social media strategically — from making infographics to leveraging targeted advertising — to cut through the noise and establish a reputation among current and potential clients, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • A Post-Mortem Analysis Of Stroock's Demise

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    After the dissolution of 147-year-old firm Stroock late last year shook up the legal world, a post-mortem analysis of the data reveals a long list of warning signs preceding the firm’s collapse — and provides some insight into how other firms might avoid the same disastrous fate, says Craig Savitzky at Leopard Solutions.

  • Series

    Coaching High School Wrestling Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Coaching my son’s high school wrestling team has been great fun, but it’s also demonstrated how a legal career can benefit from certain experiences, such as embracing the unknown, studying the rules and engaging with new people, says Richard Davis at Maynard Nexsen.

  • SG's Office Is Case Study To Help Close Legal Gender Gap

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    As women continue to be underrepresented in the upper echelons of the legal profession, law firms could learn from the example set by the Office of the Solicitor General, where culture and workplace policies have helped foster greater gender equality, say attorneys at Ocean Tomo.

  • Verizon Benefits Ruling Clears Up Lien Burden Of Proof

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    A Rhode Island federal court recently ruled that a Verizon benefits plan could not recoup a former employee’s settlement funds from the attorney who represented her in a personal injury case, importantly clarifying two Employee Retirement Income Security Act burden of proof issues that were previously unsettled, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • Reimagining Law Firm Culture To Break The Cycle Of Burnout

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    While attorney burnout remains a perennial issue in the legal profession, shifting post-pandemic expectations mean that law firms must adapt their office cultures to retain talent, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Series

    Competing In Dressage Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My lifelong participation in the sport of dressage — often called ballet on horses — has proven that several skills developed through training and competition are transferable to legal work, especially the ability to harness focus, persistence and versatility when negotiating a deal, says Stephanie Coco at V&E.

  • Opinion

    High Court's Gifts Problem Taints Public Corruption Cases

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    A history of U.S. Supreme Court justices failing to disclose luxurious gifts from wealthy donors coincides with a troubling line of court precedent overturning jury convictions in public corruption cases, indicating that perhaps justices aren't presently fit to be making these decisions, says Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

  • The Legal Industry Needs A Cybersecurity Paradigm Shift

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    As law firms face ever-increasing risks of cyberattacks and ransomware incidents, the legal industry must implement robust cybersecurity measures and privacy-centric practices to preserve attorney-client privilege, safeguard client trust and uphold the profession’s integrity, says Ryan Paterson at Unplugged.

  • 5 Reasons Associates Shouldn't Take A Job Just For Money

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    As a number of BigLaw firms increase salary scales for early-career attorneys, law students and lateral associates considering new job offers should weigh several key factors that may matter more than financial compensation, say Albert Tawil at Lateral Hub and Ruvin Levavi at Power Forward.

  • Series

    Playing Competitive Tennis Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experience playing competitive tennis has highlighted why prioritizing exercise and stress relief, maintaining perspective under pressure, and supporting colleagues in pursuit of a common goal are all key aspects of championing a successful legal career, says Madhumita Datta at Lowenstein Sandler.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Djerassi On Super Bowl 52

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    Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Ramy Djerassi discusses how Super Bowl 52, in which the Philadelphia Eagles prevailed over the New England Patriots, provides an apt metaphor for alternative dispute resolution processes in commercial business cases.

  • Considerations For Lawyer Witnesses After FTX Trial

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    Sam Bankman-Fried's recent trial testimony about his lawyers' involvement in FTX's business highlights the need for attorney-witnesses to understand privilege issues in order to avoid costly discovery disputes and, potentially, uncover critical evidence an adversary might seek to conceal, says Lawrence Bluestone at Genova Burns.

  • Employee Experience Strategy Can Boost Law Firm Success

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    Amid continuing business uncertainty, law firms should consider adopting a holistic employee experience strategy — prioritizing consistency, targeting signature moments and leveraging measurement tools — to maximize productivity and profitability, says Haley Revel at Calibrate Consulting.

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