Legal Ethics

  • May 17, 2024

    Dozens Of Pro Bono Attys Back 3rd Circ. Nominee Mangi

    Forty-nine pro bono partners, counsel and chairs from major law firms and organizations wrote to Senate leadership on Friday with concerns that the staunch opposition against Third Circuit nominee Adeel Mangi over his pro bono work will have a chilling effect on future attorneys seeking judgeships, according to a letter shared with Law360.

  • May 17, 2024

    NJ Panel Cites Bad Expert Opinion In Tossing Malpractice Suit

    A New Jersey appellate court upheld Thursday the dismissal of a legal malpractice dispute accusing an attorney of botching a woman's suit over a restaurant attack where she ended up recovering the minimum award.

  • May 17, 2024

    NJ Atty Escapes Malpractice Suit Over UPS Bias Suit

    A New Jersey state appeals court on Friday refused to revive a legal malpractice lawsuit from a UPS driver alleging his ex-lawyer did not disclose his working relationship with Day Pitney LLP, the firm that represented the delivery company in the driver's underlying racial discrimination suit.

  • May 17, 2024

    Trump Hush Money Judge Warned For Biden Donation

    The judge presiding over Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial was quietly cautioned after making a political campaign contribution to President Joe Biden and a Democratic group, disposing of an ethics investigation into the donation, it was confirmed Friday.

  • May 17, 2024

    Judge Bias Claim Can't Sink Mayo Clinic Ariz. Malpractice Win

    An Arizona appellate court has affirmed a lower court bench ruling that let the Mayo Clinic in Arizona off the hook on malpractice claims lodged by a man who suffered serious complications after an abdominal procedure, in part ruling that he didn't show judicial bias requiring recusal.

  • May 17, 2024

    Alito Flag Report Fuels Ethics Debate, But Likely No Recusal

    Responses to a report that an upside-down American flag flew outside U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's home following the 2020 presidential election broke along partisan lines Friday, with conservatives decrying it as a smear campaign and liberals calling for his recusal from pending election-related cases and for general court ethics reform.

  • May 17, 2024

    Menendez Bribery Trial: 5 Things To Know About Week 1

    Explosive opening statements, closed-door jury questioning and an FBI agent's recount of the moment he found a treasure trove of gold bars and cash highlighted the first week of trial in the government's second corruption case against U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez.

  • May 17, 2024

    Texas Justices Let Fen-Phen Atty Malpractice Fight Roll On

    The Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday that roughly 4,000 former clients of a Houston mass tort lawyer can continue pressing their claims that the lawyer improperly kept millions of dollars in fen-phen diet drug settlement money.

  • May 17, 2024

    Calif. Bar Approves Plan To Expunge Nondisbarment Records

    The State Bar of California approved a plan to automatically expunge records of attorney disciplinary actions after eight years, so long as there was no disbarment and the lawyer stayed out of trouble — a move designed to bring greater fairness to the state's attorney disciplinary system.

  • May 17, 2024

    1st Circ. Rejects Ex-Immigration Judges' Bid For Asylum Redo

    The First Circuit's full bench refused to reopen a Salvadoran woman's case seeking asylum, despite former immigration judges weighing in to say that the judge who denied her asylum didn't follow a legal requirement to ensure her record was complete.

  • May 17, 2024

    Ex-Baltimore State's Atty Says 20-Month Sentence Too Harsh

    Former Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby has asked a federal judge to cut down prosecutors' requested 20-month prison sentence after she was convicted of abusing a COVID-19-era program to obtain money from a retirement fund and conning a lender to obtain a vacation home, arguing the proposal "stray[s] from the reality of this case."

  • May 17, 2024

    Trump's Potential Witness Could Be Defense 'Dynamite'

    As Donald Trump's hush money trial in Manhattan nears its end, experts say criminal defense attorney Robert Costello, who once advised the former president's ex-fixer and key prosecution witness Michael Cohen, has surfaced as a potentially bombshell witness for the defense.

  • May 17, 2024

    AG Garland Held In Contempt By House Committees

    Two House committees voted late Thursday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt for not turning over audio recordings of the president and his ghostwriter speaking with special counsel Robert Hur for his investigation into President Joe Biden's handling of classified documents.

  • May 16, 2024

    $2B Default Recommended For Making Fair Trial 'Impossible'

    Years of lies should put a pair of Chinese electronics companies on the hook for over $2 billion in default judgment, a special master told a California federal judge, adding that their yearslong no-show and disregard of U.S. counsel advice to retain documents have rendered a fair trial "impossible."

  • May 16, 2024

    6th Circ. Still Won't Rethink Sanctions Against Trump Attys

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday once again denied a bid from former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell and other attorneys to reconsider sanctions issued against them after they challenged the 2020 presidential election results in Michigan, holding that the attorneys must seek permission for future filings given their history of "meritless motions."

  • May 16, 2024

    Colo. Atty Faces Arrest For Skipping Malpractice Case Hearing

    A Colorado state court issued a contempt citation and bench warrant for a suspended attorney who failed to appear at a hearing Thursday to discuss a $1.2 million malpractice judgment entered against him.

  • May 16, 2024

    'That Is A Lie!' Trump Atty Assails Cohen In Fraud Trial Cross

    Donald Trump's lawyer lashed out at central prosecution witness Michael Cohen on Thursday during a second day of cross-examination in New York state's criminal fraud case, attacking his credibility and key testimony linking Trump to crimes.

  • May 16, 2024

    Stubhub, Attys Face Sanctions Bid Over 'Strategy Of Evasion'

    Counsel for consumers seeking StubHub refunds for events canceled or rescheduled due to COVID-19 urged a California federal magistrate judge Thursday to sanction the online ticket platform and its lawyers, saying they've "engaged in a strategy of evasion, denial and distortion" to avoid producing hyperlinked documents despite a court order.

  • May 16, 2024

    Carhartt Heiress's Atty Stole Millions, Jury Told

    A jury trial kicked off Thursday in a case against a Michigan lawyer accused of embezzling millions of dollars from trusts belonging to the granddaughter of Carhartt Inc.'s founder, with one of her financial managers testifying that the attorney made loans to himself without permission.

  • May 16, 2024

    Trump Says 1890 Ruling Can't Be 'Pigeonholed' By Ga. DA

    Former President Donald Trump has renewed his bid to have two of his Georgia election interference charges dropped under an 1890 U.S. Supreme Court case, arguing prosecutors are trying to "improperly pigeonhole" the ruling as irrelevant to his criminal case.

  • May 16, 2024

    Smollett Atty Says Attackers' Defamation Suit Must Fail

    An attorney who represented "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett asked an Illinois federal judge Wednesday to end claims that she defamed two brothers accused of attacking Smollett by suggesting they wore "whiteface," arguing it was an unimportant detail that meshed with their own descriptions.

  • May 16, 2024

    Democrats Prod Justice Thomas on RV Loan, Tax Treatment

    Two Senate Democrats have asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' attorney to respond to what they called a failure to answer their questions about the justice's $267,000 loan from a healthcare industry executive to finance a luxury recreational vehicle, saying the loan treatment could have violated federal tax laws.

  • May 16, 2024

    Seattle-Area Atty Disbarred For Immigration Court Violations

    A Seattle-area attorney has lost her legal license after the Washington State Bar Association found she submitted falsified paperwork to the federal government, lied to her clients and immigration courts to conceal filing delays, and committed other violations that exposed her clients to possible deportation and other serious harm.

  • May 16, 2024

    11th Circ. Tries To Untangle Aftermath Of Judge's Early Exit

    An Eleventh Circuit panel on Thursday quizzed attorneys for rival breeders of disease-resistant shrimp about whether a $10 million trade-secrets jury verdict should be overturned after a federal magistrate judge presided over the trial's ending because a federal district judge had to catch a flight, with one of the panel judges saying the parties had been put "in a very difficult position."

  • May 16, 2024

    Ex-Minn. Public Defender Gets Probation For Tax Fraud

    A former Minneapolis chief public defender who argued that he should receive a lenient sentence after resigning in disgrace amid accusations that he failed to pay taxes for years on his private law firm was sentenced to three years probation by a Minnesota federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • How Attorneys Can Be More Efficient This Holiday Season

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    Attorneys should consider a few key tips to speed up their work during the holidays so they can join the festivities — from streamlining the document review process to creating similar folder structures, says Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben.

  • 5 Gifts That May Run Afoul Of Government Ethics Rules

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    As the holiday season ramps up, it’s essential to keep in mind that government officials and employees are all subject to specific gift rules, and related violations can lead to consequences far worse than coal in one’s stocking, say Mark Renaud and Rob Walker at Wiley.

  • 3 Defense Takeaways From The Bankman-Fried Trial

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    FTX founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried’s recent fraud conviction offers several key lessons for future white collar defendants, from the changing nature of cross-examination to the continued risks of taking the stand, say Jonathan Porter and Gregg Sofer at Husch Blackwell.

  • Series

    Children's Book Writing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Becoming a children's book author has opened doors to incredible new experiences of which I barely dared to dream, but the process has also changed my life by serving as a reminder that strong writing, networking and public speaking skills are hugely beneficial to a legal career, says Shaunna Bailey at Sheppard Mullin.

  • How Clients May Use AI To Monitor Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Artificial intelligence tools will increasingly enable clients to monitor and evaluate their counsel’s activities, so attorneys must clearly define the terms of engagement and likewise take advantage of the efficiencies offered by AI, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge D'Emic On Moby Grape

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    The 1968 Moby Grape song "Murder in My Heart for the Judge" tells the tale of a fictional defendant treated with scorn by the judge, illustrating how much the legal system has evolved in the past 50 years, largely due to problem-solving courts and the principles of procedural justice, says Kings County Supreme Court Administrative Judge Matthew D'Emic.

  • 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.

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