Legal Ethics

  • May 24, 2024

    Ga. Appeals Seat Winner Faces Challenge Over Residency

    A Georgia attorney is looking to pause the certification of Tuesday's election win by a onetime state bar leader for a Georgia Court of Appeals seat, arguing that he lied about his Atlanta residence when he qualified to run for the judgeship since he allegedly lived in Tennessee.

  • May 24, 2024

    Exiled Chinese Businessman Is No $1B Fraudster, Jury Told

    Exiled Chinese businessman and purported billionaire Guo Wengui ran legitimate companies in support of a broad movement that opposed the Chinese Communist Party, his attorney told a Manhattan federal jury Friday, rather than what prosecutors say was a multifaceted $1 billion fraud.

  • May 24, 2024

    Alito Flag Displays 'Improper' And 'Dumb,' District Judge Says

    A Massachusetts federal judge is calling out U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito for controversial flags reportedly seen flying outside his homes, saying such actions erode public trust in the courts.

  • May 24, 2024

    Calif. Judge Gets 2nd Reprimand After Calling Atty 'Snake Oil'

    For the second time in his judicial career, a California state judge has been publicly admonished for misconduct on the bench, most recently for referring to a public defender as "snake oil" in a criminal case and for "usurping the role of prosecutor" in another trial that was later overturned because of the judge's conduct.

  • May 24, 2024

    Weinstein Atty Trying To Chill Retrial Testimony, DA Says

    The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has argued that a lawyer for Harvey Weinstein violated ethics rules by publicly accusing one of the movie mogul's alleged rape victims of perjury in an "obvious" attempt to dissuade her from testifying again at an upcoming retrial.

  • May 24, 2024

    Alabama Judge Says Attys Subverted Plumbing Defect Deal

    In an effort to safeguard the due process rights of hundreds of homeowners, an Alabama federal judge has tossed out more than 300 settlement class "opt-outs" and partially reopened the objection period in a product liability suit, determining that outside attorneys repeatedly misled clients regarding the pending settlement, leading to the numerous exclusion requests.

  • May 24, 2024

    NC Bill Will Let Attys Expunge Discipline Records

    The North Carolina Senate approved a measure Thursday that would allow attorneys to clear certain disciplinary actions from their professional records, along with other changes to the Tar Heel State's lawyer ethics process.

  • May 24, 2024

    Ex-DOJ Atty Clark Says He Was Denied A Fair Ethics Hearing

    Former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark was denied a fair hearing in his Washington, D.C., ethics case and should not face punishment, he told an attorney disciplinary committee in a Thursday filing.

  • May 24, 2024

    Foley & Lardner Given All-Clear To Exit SEC Suit

    A North Carolina federal judge permitted Foley & Lardner LLP on Friday to exit as counsel for a Malta-based registered investment adviser that is defending claims in a $75 million lawsuit brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, despite the judge's previous concerns about the firm's withdrawal.

  • May 24, 2024

    Any Coloradan Can Enforce Open Meetings Law, Panel Says

    The Colorado Court of Appeals has sided with an attorney who has filed dozens of open meetings law claims against government bodies in the state, finding that the attorney has standing to sue a school board even though he lives hundreds of miles away.

  • May 24, 2024

    Menendez, Kasowitz Firm Spar Over Subpoena To Cooperator

    Amid his bribery trial, U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey is urging a Manhattan federal judge to order a government cooperator to turn over communications involving his current counsel at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP and his former attorneys.

  • May 23, 2024

    DLA Piper Must Share Prior Pregnancy Bias Claims With Court

    A New York federal magistrate judge on Wednesday ordered DLA Piper to let her privately review previous pregnancy discrimination complaints against it as part of discovery in a former attorney's suit, an order that comes after the firm argued the burden of sharing them "far outweighs its likely benefit."

  • May 23, 2024

    'Not Us At Our Best:' SEC's Top Cop Talks Debt Box Error

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement director Gurbir Grewal took responsibility Thursday for his agency's sanctioned actions in a lawsuit against crypto project Debt Box, saying that the case did not represent the agency "at our best" but was not a sign that there were any widespread problems with the way it conducts its enforcement proceedings. 

  • May 23, 2024

    Mich. Atty Convicted For Arranging Murder Of Jeweler Client

    A Michigan attorney was one of two convicted by an Oakland County jury Thursday of first-degree premeditated murder and conspiracy for their role in a plot to kill his client, a well-known jeweler, to gain access to millions of dollars in the jeweler's trust.

  • May 23, 2024

    White House Says 1st Circ. Judge Didn't Aid Daughter's Nom

    The White House said Thursday that a First Circuit judge played no part in his daughter's nomination to the appeals court, and plans to retire if she's confirmed.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC Fintech Atty Sues Paymentus For Gender, Age Bias

    A former senior corporate counsel for cloud-based billing company Paymentus Corp. has slapped her former employer with a $100,000 age and gender discrimination suit in North Carolina federal court, saying she was paid less than her male colleagues and eventually fired for complaining, only to be replaced by a much younger male attorney.

  • May 23, 2024

    Wash. Atty Stops Practicing Law After Assaulting Associate

    A family law attorney in Washington state has resigned from practicing law after a series of criminal offenses, including a misdemeanor sexual assault and an attempted hate crime involving a colleague after a work-sponsored event, according to state bar association disciplinary records made public this week.

  • May 23, 2024

    Ex-Kline & Specter Atty Fights Firm's Counterattack

    An ex-Kline & Specter PC attorney struck back at the firm's counterclaims in a court battle after he departed and started a solo practice, arguing to a Pennsylvania state court that the firm wasn't privy to the client communications that formed the basis of its argument.

  • May 23, 2024

    Ex-Staffer Of Fulton DA Testifies On Fund Misuse Allegations

    A former program manager under Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis told a Georgia state legislative committee Thursday that she was banished to a file room and her work life was made a "hell" after she reported alleged misuse of federal grant funds.

  • May 23, 2024

    Trump Loses 2 NY Criminal Appeals As Trial Winds Down

    Former President Donald Trump on Thursday lost a pair of appellate challenges complaining that both the judge and jury in his ongoing New York criminal hush-money trial are biased, just a few days before closing statements in the historic case.

  • May 23, 2024

    Legal Marketer, Ark. Firm Agree To End Trade Secrets Suit

    A legal marketing business has agreed to dismiss a Georgia federal lawsuit accusing an Arkansas law firm and others of stealing and profiting off its trade secrets, including a database of client leads for mass torts over talcum powder and heartburn medication.

  • May 23, 2024

    Trump Atty Nears Deal To End Colo. Discipline Case

    Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis and Colorado's attorney discipline office said Thursday that they were finalizing a settlement in a disciplinary case over Ellis' false statements about the presidential election in Georgia, though the disciplinary judge cautioned that he is prepared to rule if he does not like the deal.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC High Court Sees No DA Conflict In Cyberstalking Case

    North Carolina's highest court ruled Thursday that a county prosecutor was improperly disqualified from a criminal case in which the alleged victim is a county manager, reasoning that the scenario didn't meet conflict-of-interest parameters established by the court's decades-old precedent.

  • May 23, 2024

    NC Justices Scrap Defamation Suit Against Holtzman Vogel

    Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak PLLC is immune from defamation claims stemming from election protests the law firm helped file in 2016, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting what the justices characterized as a "baseless attempt" by voters to "constrict the absolute privilege's protections."

  • May 23, 2024

    Menendez Says Feds Can't Wield Texts About Egyptian Aid

    U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez told a federal court that the government can't support its corruption case with text messages involving military aid to Egypt and a local businessman accused of bribing the senator, citing U.S. Supreme Court precedent excluding past legislative acts as admissible evidence.

Expert Analysis

  • For Lawyers, Pessimism Should Be A Job Skill, Not A Life Skill

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    A pessimistic mindset allows attorneys to be effective advocates for their clients, but it can come with serious costs for their personal well-being, so it’s crucial to exercise strategies that produce flexible optimism and connect lawyers with their core values, says Krista Larson at Stinson.

  • Trump's NY Civil Fraud Trial Spotlights Long-Criticized Law

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    A New York court’s recent decision holding former President Donald Trump liable for fraud brought old criticisms of the state law used against him back into the limelight — including its strikingly broad scope and its major departures from the traditional elements of common law fraud, say Mark Kelley and Lois Ahn at MoloLamken.

  • Opinion

    Requiring Leave To File Amicus Briefs Is A Bad Idea

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    A proposal to amend the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure that would require parties to get court permission before filing federal amicus briefs would eliminate the long-standing practice of consent filing and thereby make the process less open and democratic, says Lawrence Ebner at the Atlantic Legal Foundation and DRI Center.

  • 4 Ways To Motivate Junior Attorneys To Bring Their Best

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    As Gen Z and younger millennial attorneys increasingly express dissatisfaction with their work and head for the exits, the lawyers who manage them must understand and attend to their needs and priorities to boost engagement and increase retention, says Stacey Schwartz at Katten.

  • Series

    Serving As A Sheriff's Deputy Made Me A Better Lawyer

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    Skills developed during my work as a reserve deputy — where there was a need to always be prepared, decisive and articulate — transferred to my practice as an intellectual property litigator, and my experience taught me that clients often appreciate and relate to the desire to participate in extracurricular activities, says Michael Friedland at Friedland Cianfrani.

  • Former Minn. Chief Justice Instructs On Writing Better Briefs

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    Former Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, now at Greenberg Traurig, offers strategies on writing more effective appellate briefs from her time on the bench.

  • Stay Interviews Are Key To Retaining Legal Talent

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    Even as the economy shifts and layoffs continue, law firms still want to retain their top attorneys, and so-called stay interviews — informal conversations with employees to identify potential issues before they lead to turnover — can be a crucial tool for improving retention and morale, say Tina Cohen Nicol and Kate Reder Sheikh at Major Lindsey.

  • The Fed. Circ. In February: A Reminder On Procedure Rule 28

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    Because the Federal Circuit does not often issue a sua sponte precedential order emphasizing an important rule of practice, it is useful to look at how the court applied the restrictions of appellate procedure Rule 28 in Promptu v. Comcast last month, and in cases that preceded it, say Jeremiah Helm and Sean Murray at Knobbe Martens.

  • Opinion

    DOJ Press Office Is Not Fulfilling Its Stated Mission

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    The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs’ apparent practice of issuing press releases when someone is indicted or convicted, but not when a defendant prevails, undermines its stated mission to disseminate “current, complete and accurate” information, and has negative real-world ramifications, says Sara Kropf at Kropf Moseley.

  • Series

    Spray Painting Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My experiences as an abstract spray paint artist have made me a better litigator, demonstrating — in more ways than one — how fluidity and flexibility are necessary parts of a successful legal practice, says Erick Sandlin at Bracewell.

  • Opinion

    Litigation Funding Needs Regulating To Meet Ethics Standards

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    Third-party litigation funding can provide litigants with access to the legal system, but, as recent cases show, the funding agreements carry the potential for exploitation and may conflict with core aspects of the attorney-client relationship, making the need for a balanced regulation self-evident, says Deborah Winokur at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Is Imperative This Election Year

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    As the next election nears, the judges involved in the upcoming trials against former President Donald Trump increasingly face political pressures and threats of violence — revealing the urgent need to safeguard judicial independence and uphold the rule of law, says Benes Aldana at the National Judicial College.

  • Series

    Riding My Peloton Bike Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Using the Peloton platform for cycling, running, rowing and more taught me that fostering a mind-body connection will not only benefit you physically and emotionally, but also inspire stamina, focus, discipline and empathy in your legal career, says Christopher Ward at Polsinelli.

  • Spartan Arbitration Tactics Against Well-Funded Opponents

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    Like the ancient Spartans who held off a numerically superior Persian army at the Battle of Thermopylae, trial attorneys and clients faced with arbitration against an opponent with a bigger war chest can take a strategic approach to create a pass to victory, say Kostas Katsiris and Benjamin Argyle at Venable.

  • What Recent Study Shows About AI's Promise For Legal Tasks

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    Amid both skepticism and excitement about the promise of generative artificial intelligence in legal contexts, the first randomized controlled trial studying its impact on basic lawyering tasks shows mixed but promising results, and underscores the need for attorneys to proactively engage with AI, says Daniel Schwarcz at University of Minnesota Law School.

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