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

  • 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.

  • Series

    Competing In Triathlons Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    While practicing law and competing in long-distance triathlons can make work and life feel unbalanced at times, participating in the sport has revealed important lessons about versatility, self-care and perseverance that apply to the office as much as they do the racecourse, says Laura Heusel at Butler Snow.

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