Legal Ethics

  • March 01, 2024

    Ill. Atty Sued For Defamation Can Still Assert Privilege

    An Illinois appellate panel held Friday that an exception to attorney-client privilege for criminal or fraudulent conduct does not extend to alleged defamation by attorneys, reversing a trial court that applied it to a Chicago attorney and law firm facing a defamation suit from the former senior pastor of an Illinois megachurch.

  • March 01, 2024

    Plaintiffs Blast Prison Health Co.'s 'Potemkin Village' Case

    An attorney for plaintiffs seeking the dismissal of prison health care company Tehum Care Services Inc.'s "Texas Two-Step" bankruptcy case assailed on Friday what he called the "Potemkin village" nature of the debtor during the first day of a trial unfolding in Texas bankruptcy court.

  • March 01, 2024

    Trump Challenges Origins Of Prosecution In Fla. Docs Case

    The special counsel's office prosecuting Donald Trump's criminal case on mishandling classified documents told the Florida federal judge overseeing the case on Friday that his attorneys don't have a viable claim challenging the origins of the prosecution team, arguing that intelligence agencies had no role in determining the charges against the former president.

  • March 01, 2024

    Justices' Trump Immunity Ruling Could Delay Trial Indefinitely

    The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to review former President Donald Trump's claim that he's immune from prosecution for allegedly interfering in the 2020 presidential election could indefinitely delay a trial in the case, attorneys say, by raising additional questions that the courts must answer first.

  • March 01, 2024

    Pa. Supreme Court Snapshot: Judge's Side Gig Vexes Tax Row

    In its first argument session of 2024, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will once again have seven justices on the bench to hear cases concerning issues like a judge taking a second job, following last year's elevation of Superior Court Judge Daniel D. McCaffery to fill the vacancy left by the death of former Chief Justice Max Baer in 2022.

  • March 01, 2024

    Applebee's Atty's 'Mega-Blunder' Warrants Retrial, Court Says

    A Florida appellate panel said Friday that counsel for an Applebee's restaurant made an improper closing statement characterized by one panelist as a "mega-blunder," warranting a retrial of an injury suit accusing the restaurant of causing a customer's slip-and-fall injuries.

  • March 01, 2024

    Fla. Judge Resigns Amid Ethics Charges Over Ex Parte Chat

    A Florida state judge has resigned, ending an ethics case triggered by his allegedly biased ex parte comments to a prosecutor following a Zoom hearing in August.

  • March 01, 2024

    Ga. Judge Will Rule Within 2 Weeks On Bid To DQ Fulton DA

    The Fulton County, Georgia, judge overseeing the election interference case against former President Donald Trump said Friday that, after days of salacious testimony about District Attorney Fani T. Willis' alleged improper relationship, he wants to hear legal arguments about whether the prosecutor should be disqualified.

  • March 01, 2024

    DeSantis Blasts Ousted Florida Atty's Bid To Speed Up Appeal

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed back Friday against an ousted prosecutor's request that the Eleventh Circuit expedite consideration of the governor's petition for a rehearing en banc with respect to a decision reviving the attorney's lawsuit against DeSantis, saying the case has "sweeping implications" for the state.

  • March 01, 2024

    Trustee's Office Goes After More Jackson Walker Fees In Texas

    As fallout over the Judge David R. Jones case continues, the U.S. Trustee's Office has filed a flurry of new motions in multiple bankruptcy cases, seeking to claw back fees paid to Jackson Walker LLP and, in at least one case, to reopen proceedings. 

  • March 01, 2024

    3 Firms Seek $80M In Fees From Real Estate Brokerage Deal

    Class counsel for homeowners who say they paid artificially inflated broker commissions when they sold their homes are asking for about $80 million in attorney fees and $12 million in expenses after they settled with major real estate brokerages.

  • March 01, 2024

    NJ Firm Loses Early Bid To Toss Atty's Fee-Split Row

    A New Jersey state judge on Friday refused to toss an attorney's claims that she's entitled to a nearly $425,000 cut of a foreclosure case settlement from when she served as an of counsel for Katz & Dougherty LLC, ruling that the firm's dismissal motion targeting an alleged "made-up" contract was premature.  

  • March 01, 2024

    Romantics Singer Can't Tune Out Atty's Copy-Paste Error

    A founding member of The Romantics can't regain control of the band's finances after his attorney mistakenly copied an opposing brief that said the singer should lose, a Michigan state appeals panel has ruled, because the lawyer had certified that she read the brief before filing. 

  • March 01, 2024

    Atty Censured Over Conduct In NFL Concussion MDL

    A Pennsylvania federal judge has rejected objections from a law firm and its principal and affirmed a special masters' determination that the attorney be censured for engaging in "questionable behavior" while trying to secure monetary awards for clients from the NFL players' concussion injury litigation settlement.

  • March 01, 2024

    Whistleblowers Say Paxton's Bid To Duck Deposition 'Disloyal'

    Whistleblowers accusing Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of firing them for reporting suspected wrongdoing urged the state Supreme Court to reject his office's attempt to "derail litigation unilaterally" and avoid deposition in their retaliation lawsuit.

  • March 01, 2024

    DC Appeals Court Affirms 2014 Firing Of Administrative Judge

    A Washington, D.C., appeals court upheld the termination of a D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings judge who was fired nearly a decade ago amid scrutiny for a range of ethics violations that included steering a $43,000 city contract to the husband of the agency's general counsel.

  • March 01, 2024

    Golf Club Settles Claims Trump Atty Illegally Pushed NDA

    A Trump Organization golf club has settled a former server's claims that she was illegally induced to sign a nondisclosure agreement by one of Donald Trump's lawyers, Alina Habba, reopening the door for the ex-employee to pursue claims that she was sexually harassed on the job.

  • March 01, 2024

    Clerk Database Founder On Cruel Judges, Law School Inertia

    This month, the Legal Accountability Project will launch an online clerkship database consisting of more than 800 reviews of state and federal judges. Access will be limited to law students undergoing the clerkship application process and seeking honest assessments of their would-be bosses.

  • February 29, 2024

    Trump Says 'Fair' Docs Case Trial Must Happen After Election

    Donald Trump on Thursday asked a Florida federal court not to schedule a trial in the criminal classified documents case against him until after this year's presidential election, arguing that a fair trial "cannot be conducted this year in a manner consistent with the Constitution."

  • February 29, 2024

    Judge Nixes Enforcement Of 'Fabricated' $88M Award

    An English judge on Thursday set aside his order enforcing a £70 million ($88.4 million) arbitral award against a Kuwaiti bank after concluding the award was a "fabrication" that included "substantial" passages lifted directly from a 2022 decision issued by the High Court.

  • February 29, 2024

    Blank Rome Accused Of Suing Atty Over Job Change

    A trial attorney who used to defend plane parts manufacturer Avco Corp. accused the company and Blank Rome LLP Wednesday in Pennsylvania federal court of pursuing "frivolous" litigation against her, claiming they sought to destroy her livelihood because she joined a plaintiffs' firm that frequently sues aviation manufacturers.

  • February 29, 2024

    DeSantis Signs Bill Releasing Epstein Grand Jury Docs

    Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill that expands the exceptions for grand jury secrecy, paving the way for the release later this year of the 2006 grand jury investigation into serial sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

  • February 29, 2024

    Disbarred Atty Avoids Prison In 2nd Fraud Case

    A Washington federal judge sentenced a former lawyer to a halfway house Thursday for lying to avoid paying restitution in a previous criminal fraud case, finding that she did not deserve more prison time after hearing of her sexual assault the last time she was incarcerated.

  • February 29, 2024

    Atty Not Bound By Settlements In Fla. Breach Of Contract Suit

    A Florida appellate panel on Thursday reversed a lower court ruling that a Mississippi attorney violated agreements prohibiting him from publicly disparaging parties and disseminating filings in prior cases, saying he wasn't obligated to follow the settlements despite the parties' intentions of having them apply to him.

  • February 29, 2024

    Houston Judge Again Declines Recusal In Back Wages Fight

    A Texas state judge again declined to recuse himself in a dispute between a Lewis Brisbois partner and his previous law firm after the partner filed a motion accusing the judge of allowing counsel for a Houston firm to "engage in numerous attacks" against him based on his sexuality.

Expert Analysis

  • How Firms Can Ensure Associate Gender Parity Lasts

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    Among associates, women now outnumber men for the first time, but progress toward gender equality at the top of the legal profession remains glacially slow, and firms must implement time-tested solutions to ensure associates’ gender parity lasts throughout their careers, say Kelly Culhane and Nicole Joseph at Culhane Meadows.

  • 7 Common Myths About Lateral Partner Moves

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    As lateral recruiting remains a key factor for law firm growth, partners considering a lateral move should be aware of a few commonly held myths — some of which contain a kernel of truth, and some of which are flat out wrong, says Dave Maurer at Major Lindsey.

  • 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.

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