Legal Ethics

  • May 28, 2024

    High Court Passes On Collection Firm's CFPB Funding Fight

    The U.S. Supreme Court said Tuesday that it won't take up a now-shuttered debt collection law firm's fight against an investigative demand by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, turning down a case that covered the same constitutional ground as one that the justices recently decided in the agency's favor.

  • May 28, 2024

    Intl. Judge Pushes Back Against Russia Amicus Allegations

    Prominent arbitrator and international Judge Charles Brower is pushing back against claims from the Kremlin that conflicts of interest should bar his amicus brief to the D.C. Circuit in support of Yukos Oil Co. shareholders' $50 billion arbitration enforcement.

  • May 28, 2024

    Colo. Justices Say Actual Bias Not Needed To Recuse Judges

    Colorado justices on Tuesday said that litigants don't need to prove actual bias to disqualify a judge but still need to get pretty close to that standard, finding a judge who was shot at in her car did not need to step down from a road rage case.

  • May 28, 2024

    Ex-Florida Atty Accused Of Failing To Deliver Condo Proceeds

    A disbarred attorney was sued in Florida state court by a client who alleged fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in a Miami Beach condominium foreclosure action, saying he misappropriated more than $68,000 in proceeds.

  • May 28, 2024

    Ex-Ill. Prosecutor Arrested, Charged For Woodchipper Threat

    A former assistant state's attorney in suburban Chicago's DuPage County has been arrested and charged with threatening the children of two Illinois state representatives in an online post in which he allegedly suggested he would put them into a woodchipper.

  • May 28, 2024

    Wisconsin Atty Gets 5½ Years For $2.3M Fraud, Tax Evasion

    An attorney licensed in Wisconsin has been sentenced to 5½ years in federal prison and ordered to pay around $2.3 million in restitution for her involvement in multiple fraud schemes, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.

  • May 28, 2024

    American To Cut Attys Who Blamed Child Filmed In Bathroom

    Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP attorneys are on the brink of being removed as counsel for American Airlines in a Texas state lawsuit over an ex-flight attendant's secret bathroom recording of a 9-year-old girl.

  • May 28, 2024

    BREAKING: NY Prosecutors Make Final Pitch To Convict 'Cavalier' Trump

    Law360 reporters are providing live updates from the Manhattan criminal courthouse as Donald Trump goes on trial for allegedly falsifying business records related to hush money payments ahead of the 2016 election. Follow along here as prosecutors give their closing statement.

  • May 28, 2024

    Calif. Judge Cops To Ethics Charges, Agrees To Step Down

    A California judge censured and barred for multiple ethics violations, including drug use, inappropriate personal relationships with attorneys and making inappropriate comments, including antisemitic remarks, about litigants and attorneys, has resigned as of Monday.

  • May 28, 2024

    Ga. Law Firm Beats Sanctions Over Fatal Crash Mistrial

    The Georgia Court of Appeals has thrown out sanctions against an Atlanta civil litigation law firm requiring the firm to pay more than $584,000 in attorney fees and costs for not uncovering a purported conflict that caused a mistrial in a fatal crash lawsuit, finding the trial court's decision was excessive and not supported by evidence.

  • May 28, 2024

    Fla. Trump Prosecutors Scolded For Gag Order Filing

    The Florida federal judge overseeing Donald Trump's classified documents case on Tuesday temporarily rejected the government's request for a limited gag order and admonished prosecutors for what she said was a lack of "substance and professional courtesy" in their conferral with defense attorneys before filing the motion.

  • May 28, 2024

    Beasley Allen, J&J Trade Barbs Over DQ Bid In Talc Litigation

    Johnson & Johnson and the Beasley Allen Law Firm have accused each other by turns of "gamesmanship" and "unscrupulous conduct" in New Jersey courts in a fight over whether the firm should be disqualified from talcum powder litigation for allegedly collaborating in secret with a former J&J outside counsel.

  • May 28, 2024

    Legal Lenders Can't Avoid Hurricane Ads Suit, Plaintiff Argues

    Funding companies that lent $20 million to a Texas law firm accused of using it to deceptively solicit hurricane victims can't escape liability by claiming they didn't know how attorneys were using the money or "simply because they don't have offices in the state," according to a Louisiana woman at the forefront of a putative class action.

  • May 28, 2024

    Justices Won't Hear Avenatti Appeal Of Nike Conviction

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal from Michael Avenatti challenging his conviction for trying to extort millions from Nike, with the high court's rejection ending the disbarred attorney's chances at overturning one of his three criminal convictions.

  • May 28, 2024

    Lin Wood Wants Fraud Claims Kept Out Of Defamation Trial

    Controversial attorney Lin Wood asked a Georgia federal judge on Friday to bar his former law partners, who allege he falsely accused them of attempted extortion, from introducing evidence at an upcoming August trial related to two separate and still pending suits filed against him in Fulton County.

  • May 28, 2024

    9th Circ. Won't Touch IRS Bid For Tax Liability On Bookie

    A bookie who pled guilty to helping run an illegal sports gambling ring out of Peru can't escape his ensuing $100,000 tax liability under a Ninth Circuit ruling that declined to expunge his conviction after he argued the taxes are disproportionately punishing.

  • May 28, 2024

    Menendez, Prosecutors Spar Over Egypt Aid Texts

    U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez on Sunday urged a New York federal judge to hold firm to his decision barring prosecutors from using text messages to show he allegedly took bribes to authorize military aid to Egypt, arguing that the speech or debate clause of the U.S. Constitution made the messages inadmissible in court.

  • May 24, 2024

    5 Themes That Could Determine Trump's NY Criminal Trial

    With closing arguments set for Tuesday morning in Donald Trump's New York hush money case and deliberations on the horizon, here's a look at the themes that have dominated the historic, monthlong trial so far.

  • May 24, 2024

    Fla. Bar Seeks Longer Penalty Over Atty's Campaign Speech

    In a notice filed with the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday, the Florida Bar said it would seek a 91-day suspension for Georgia-based attorney Christopher W. Crowley, rather than a recommended 60-day suspension after a referee said Crowley disparaged Amira Fox several times when both were running for 20th Judicial Circuit state attorney. 

  • May 24, 2024

    No-Show Plaintiff, 'Jackass' Atty Booted Too Quickly, Court Says

    A Michigan appellate court sympathized with a trial court dealing with a no-show plaintiff and his lawyer who acted like a "jackass" — according to one appellate judge — but ruled Thursday that the trial court needed to do a better job documenting why it tossed the case instead of issuing a lesser sanction.

  • May 24, 2024

    Carhartt Heiress Atty Can't Get Mistrial Over Own Witness

    A Michigan attorney can't get a mistrial in a criminal case accusing him of embezzling millions from his wealthy Carhartt heiress client after his own witness discussed the heiress' $37 million potential loss during cross-examination, with a state judge saying Friday he was mystified why the witness was even called but that the defense had insisted on it. 

  • May 24, 2024

    Cannabis Company Fights Sanctions Bid In $10M Contract Suit

    A cannabis company has opposed a sanctions request in a dispute surrounding its merger with Connecticut marijuana business Theraplant LLC, saying it met document production deadlines despite an opposing attorney's claim that he couldn't open a link emailed at 11:53 p.m. via a password that followed at 11:59 p.m.

  • May 24, 2024

    NJ Panel Won't Revive Atty's Turnpike Authority Harassment Suit

    A New Jersey state appeals court panel stood by an attorney's loss Friday in his suit claiming the New Jersey Turnpike Authority and its officials held him back from promotions and raises and harassed him based on his military service in the U.S. National Guard.

  • May 24, 2024

    Atty Says Loss Of BP Spill Claim Was Client's Fault, Not Firm's

    Texas attorney Brent W. Coon has told a Houston court that his firm's alleged botching of a former client's lawsuit stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill was actually the client's fault, as he failed to provide the firm with a sworn statement to attach to his complaint per a court's order.

  • May 24, 2024

    Alec Baldwin Must Face 'Rust' Shooting Charges

    A New Mexico state judge on Friday denied Alec Baldwin's motion to dismiss his indictment on involuntary manslaughter charges in the fatal on-set shooting of a cinematographer during the filming of "Rust" in Santa Fe, rejecting the actor's claims of prosecutorial misconduct before the grand jury.

Expert Analysis

  • How Attys Can Avoid Pitfalls When Withdrawing From A Case

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    The Trump campaign's recent scuffle over its bid to replace its counsel in a pregnancy retaliation suit offers a chance to remind attorneys that many troubles inherent in withdrawing from a case can be mitigated or entirely avoided by communicating with clients openly and frequently, says Christopher Konneker at Orsinger Nelson.

  • High Court Injunction Case Could Shake Up Fee-Shifting Rules

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    In agreeing to review a Virginia case rendered statutorily moot before final judgment, the U.S. Supreme Court could finally settle the question of if — and when — a preliminary injunction can win attorney fees for a prevailing party, but all possible answers could disrupt fee-shifting schemes written into major laws, says Laurens Wilkes at Winston & Strawn.

  • Using A Children's Book Approach In Firm Marketing Content

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    From “The Giving Tree” to “Where the Wild Things Are,” most children’s books are easy to remember because they use simple words and numbers to tell stories with a human impact — a formula law firms should emulate in their marketing content to stay front of mind for potential clients, says Seema Desai Maglio at The Found Word.

  • Series

    Being An EMT Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    While some of my experiences as an emergency medical technician have been unusually painful and searing, the skills I’ve learned — such as triage, empathy and preparedness — are just as useful in my work as a restructuring lawyer, says Marshall Huebner at Davis Polk.

  • Exploring An Alternative Model Of Litigation Finance

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    A new model of litigation finance, most aptly described as insurance-backed litigation funding, differs from traditional funding in two key ways, and the process of securing it involves three primary steps, say Bob Koneck, Christopher Le Neve Foster and Richard Butters at Atlantic Global Risk LLC.

  • Trump Hush Money Case Offers Master Class In Trial Strategy

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    The New York criminal hush money trial of former President Donald Trump typifies some of the greatest challenges that lawyers face in crafting persuasive presentations, providing lessons on how to handle bad facts, craft a simple story that withstands attack, and cross-examine with that story in mind, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Series

    Teaching Yoga Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Being a yoga instructor has helped me develop my confidence and authenticity, as well as stress management and people skills — all of which have crossed over into my career as an attorney, says Laura Gongaware at Clyde & Co.

  • A Vision For Economic Clerkships In The Legal System

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    As courts handle increasingly complex damages analyses involving vast amounts of data, an economic clerkship program — integrating early-career economists into the judicial system — could improve legal outcomes and provide essential training to clerks, say Mona Birjandi at Data for Decisions and Matt Farber at Secretariat.

  • E-Discovery Quarterly: Recent Rulings On Text Message Data

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    Electronically stored information on cellphones, and in particular text messages, can present unique litigation challenges, and recent court decisions demonstrate that counsel must carefully balance what data should be preserved, collected, reviewed and produced, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • 'Fat Leonard' Case Shows High Bar For Rescinding Guilty Plea

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    Prosecutors’ recent move in the “Fat Leonard” bribery case, supporting several defendants’ motions to withdraw their guilty pleas, is extremely unusual – and its contrast with other prosecutions demonstrates that the procedural safeguards at plea hearings are far from enough, says Sara Kropf at Kropf Moseley.

  • Series

    Swimming Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Years of participation in swimming events, especially in the open water, have proven to be ideal preparation for appellate arguments in court — just as you must put your trust in the ocean when competing in a swim event, you must do the same with the judicial process, says John Kulewicz at Vorys.

  • As Arbitrator Bias Claims Rise, Disclosure Standards Evolve

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    The growth in post-award challenges based on arbitrators' alleged conflicts of interest has led to the release of new guidance and new case law on the topic — both supporting the view that professional familiarity alone does not translate to a lack of impartiality, say attorneys at Skadden.

  • Don't Use The Same Template For Every Client Alert

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    As the old marketing adage goes, consistency is key, but law firm style guides need consistency that contemplates variety when it comes to client alert formats, allowing attorneys to tailor alerts to best fit the audience and subject matter, says Jessica Kaplan at Legally Penned.

  • Series

    Walking With My Dog Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Thanks to my dog Birdie, I've learned that carving out an activity different from the practice of law — like daily outdoor walks that allow you to interact with new people — can contribute to professional success by boosting creativity and mental acuity, as well as expanding your social network, says Sarah Petrie at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Follow The Iron Rule Of Trial Logic

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    Many diligent and eager attorneys include every good fact, point and rule in their trial narratives — spurred by the gnawing fear they’ll be second-guessed for leaving something out — but this approach ignores a fundamental principle of successful trial lawyering, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

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