Legal Ethics

  • July 15, 2024

    Judge Says Attys Must Hash Out Conflict In Twitter Row

    A California federal judge has rebuked both sides of a suit alleging Twitter violated federal labor laws amid a mass layoff in late 2022, ordering lead attorneys to attend a meet and confer session in August to work through ongoing conflicts that have arisen since the claims were filed in April 2023.

  • July 15, 2024

    Gray Reed Helped Water Now CEO In Fraud, Investors Say

    Investors in the now-defunct water purification company Water Now have added law firm Gray Reed & McGraw LLP and attorney George Diamond to their suit against the company, saying in an amended complaint Monday the firm helped the company's CEO run the business into the ground while enriching himself. 

  • July 15, 2024

    How Baldwin Could Turn The Table On 'Rust' Prosecutors

    The sudden dismissal of involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin over withheld evidence has left New Mexico state prosecutors not only with a tattered reputation but also potentially facing both bar discipline and civil litigation by the actor, experts told Law360.

  • July 15, 2024

    Personal Injury, Med Mal Cases To Watch In 2nd Half Of 2024

    A Pennsylvania case over hospitals' liability for not admitting a mental health patient who ended up killing his girlfriend and a Texas high court case over solicitations by personal injury attorneys are among the cases injury and malpractice attorneys will be following in the second half of 2024.

  • July 15, 2024

    Judge DQ'd From Young Thug's Trial Over Ex Parte Convo

    The judge presiding over the Atlanta racketeering trial of rapper Young Thug has been booted from the case over charges that he held a closed-door meeting with prosecutors and a key witness, accusations that ended with the musician's attorney being placed into handcuffs last month.

  • July 15, 2024

    Girardi Seeks 2-Month Delay For Client Theft Trial, To October

    Disgraced lawyer Tom Girardi's defense attorneys want to push back his closely watched wire fraud trial to October from its current August start date, claiming they've been "misled" by "sharp-elbowed" federal prosecutors who have unexpectedly sought to expand the scope of their case against Girardi in recent weeks.

  • July 15, 2024

    Ex-BigLaw Atty Wants Probation For Campaign Finance Scam

    A former BigLaw attorney asked a Massachusetts federal judge to sentence him to probation instead of prison for his campaign finance violation convictions linked to a failed 2018 congressional run, arguing that the conduct wasn't intended for personal enrichment but rather demonstrated his inexperience in campaigning and fundraising.

  • July 15, 2024

    State Troopers Settle Ford Interceptor Suit After Sanctions

    A group of Washington state troopers have settled claims alleging they were "poisoned" by Ford Motor Co.'s Interceptor vehicles, according to a docket note Monday, less than a week after the troopers' attorney failed to show up for a sanctions hearing on missed discovery deadlines.

  • July 15, 2024

    McElroy Deutsch Fights 'Malicious' Claim In Exec Fraud Case

    McElroy Deutsch Mulvaney & Carpenter LLP and its former business development director, who is accused of stealing millions from the firm partially via fraudulent credit card use, are at odds over whether the firm's ex-employee should be allowed to bring a malicious prosecution counterclaim in New Jersey state court.

  • July 15, 2024

    Mich. Judge Recuses Himself From Ford Engine Fire Suit

    A Michigan federal judge has recused himself, without explanation, from overseeing a proposed class action alleging that Ford Motor Co. concealed a defect in some of its engines that caused fires.

  • July 15, 2024

    11th Circ. Affirms Atty Fee Awards In Nursing Home Ch. 7

    The Eleventh Circuit found Monday a bankruptcy court didn't abuse its discretion when it awarded attorney fees to Shumaker Loop & Kendrick LLP, Fox Rothschild and a firm that merged with Venable for representing the Chapter 7 trustee in a nursing home operator's insolvency.

  • July 15, 2024

    Ex-Client Says Nurick Law Founder Refuted Found Fee Clause

    A former Nurick Law Group LLC client said the court shouldn't reverse its decision to keep his malpractice suit against the firm in the Garden State after the discovery of a crucial document, arguing the firm's founder testified the document is not a valid agreement.

  • July 15, 2024

    Catching Up With Delaware's Chancery Court

    Chancery Court news was full of fees and settlements last week, with three multimillion-dollar deals getting a court OK, and a day-long discussion over a potentially multibillion-dollar fee award for attorneys who got Tesla CEO Elon Musk's astronomical pay package thrown out. The court also banged the gavel in cases involving e-payment venture SwervePay and managed care company Centene Corp., and heard arguments from software company SAP SE and biotech Renmatix Inc.

  • July 15, 2024

    Quinn Emanuel Barred From Repping X In Scraping Case

    Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP can no longer represent social media giant X Corp. in the company's lawsuit against Bright Data Ltd., with a California federal judge finding the law firm violated its duty of loyalty to Bright Data after previously representing it in a "substantially related" case.

  • July 15, 2024

    No Sanctions For Milberg In Visa, Mastercard MDL

    A New York federal judge on Friday declined to order sanctions against Milberg Coleman Bryson Phillips Grossman LLC after the firm admitted to mistakenly registering fraudulent clients in long-running multidistrict litigation that accused Visa and Mastercard of charging improper merchant fees.

  • July 15, 2024

    Posner Can't Win Most Severe Sanctions In Ex-Staffer's Suit

    An Indiana federal judge stopped short of granting the most serious sanctions requested by retired Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner in his defense of a $170,000 breach of contract suit brought by a pro se litigation "expert," including the dismissal of the case and a "significant monetary" penalty.

  • July 15, 2024

    Dow Chemical Seeks Recusal After Settlement Offer Gaffe

    The Dow Chemical Co. asked an Ohio federal judge to recuse himself from a trade secrets suit brought by a Cleveland technology firm accusing it of misappropriating confidential information to recreate the firm's copyrighted software after the tech company showed the court a settlement offer without Dow Chemical's approval.

  • July 15, 2024

    Trump Classified Docs Case Canned Over Special Counsel Law

    A Florida federal judge on Monday tossed the criminal case against former President Donald Trump over his allegedly illegal retention of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate, ruling that the appointment of a special prosecutor for the case is unconstitutional.

  • July 12, 2024

    Law360 Names 2024's Top Attorneys Under 40

    Law360 is pleased to announce the Rising Stars of 2024, our list of 158 attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments belie their age.

  • July 12, 2024

    House GOP Wants Push For Special Counsel Tapes Sped Up

    U.S. House Judiciary Committee Republicans asked a D.C. federal judge on Friday to order U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to hand over audiotapes of President Joe Biden's and his ghostwriter's interviews with special counsel Robert Hur in Biden's classified documents investigation, saying "the clock on the 118th Congress [is] ticking."

  • July 12, 2024

    Mississippi Judge Benches Favre's NY Atty In Fraud Suit

    A Mississippi judge found Thursday that retired quarterback Brett Favre's New York-based defense attorney in a massive welfare fraud lawsuit routinely violated the state's civil procedure codes and barred him and other non-local counsel from making any more filings.

  • July 12, 2024

    Texas Assistant DA Blew Whistle A Day Late, Panel Finds

    A Texas appeals court tossed a suit filed by a former assistant district attorney who says he was fired for blowing the whistle on alleged kickbacks and other illegal acts by his colleagues, finding in a Friday opinion that the whistleblower filed his complaint one day past the deadline.

  • July 12, 2024

    Whistleblower's Attys Get $5.9M After Losing $11.5M Fee Ask

    A Massachusetts federal judge awarded a whistleblower's counsel $5.9 million in fees plus $651,845 in costs and expenses after slashing their prior "exorbitant" $11.5 million fee request in May in a decade-old False Claims Act lawsuit alleging Fresenius Medical Care billed Medicare for unnecessary hepatitis tests.

  • July 12, 2024

    Cuomo Beats Retaliation Claims In NY Trooper's Suit

    Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo defeated retaliation claims in a state trooper's lawsuit alleging she was sexually harassed while serving in Cuomo's security detail, after a federal judge said Friday that no employment relationship existed because Cuomo resigned months before his purported threat to seek prosecution of his alleged victims.

  • July 12, 2024

    Ramey Says 'Any Competent' Atty Wouldn't Seek Sanctions Yet

    Ramey LLP, counsel for mobile payment company AuthWallet LLC, has urged a Texas federal judge to reject a bank's attempt to sanction the company's attorney, saying the request is premature since the case doesn't have a prevailing party yet.

Expert Analysis

  • Lawyers Must Be Careful When Using Listservs

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    The American Bar Association's formal opinion from May correctly states that attorneys must obtain clients' consent before posing related questions to listservs, but potential risks and drawbacks of using listservs go beyond those highlighted by the ABA, says Deborah Winokur at Cozen O'Connor.

  • A Midyear Forecast: Tailwinds Expected For Atty Hourly Rates

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    Hourly rates for partners, associates and support staff continued to rise in the first half of this year, and this growth shows no signs of slowing for the rest of 2024 and into next year, driven in part by the return of mergers and acquisitions and the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence, says Chuck Chandler at Valeo Partners.

  • Opinion

    States Should Loosen Law Firm Ownership Restrictions

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    Despite growing buzz, normalized nonlawyer ownership of law firms is a distant prospect, so the legal community should focus first on liberalizing state restrictions on attorney and firm purchases of practices, which would bolster succession planning and improve access to justice, says Michael Di Gennaro at The Law Practice Exchange.

  • Series

    Solving Puzzles Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Tackling daily puzzles — like Wordle, KenKen and Connections — has bolstered my intellectual property litigation practice by helping me to exercise different mental skills, acknowledge minor but important details, and build and reinforce good habits, says Roy Wepner at Kaplan Breyer.

  • Texas Ethics Opinion Flags Hazards Of Unauthorized Practice

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    The Texas Professional Ethics Committee's recently issued proposed opinion finding that in-house counsel providing legal services to the company's clients constitutes the unauthorized practice of law is a valuable clarification given that a UPL violation — a misdemeanor in most states — carries high stakes, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Julienne Pasichow at HWG.

  • In Memoriam: The Modern Administrative State

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    On June 28, the modern administrative state, where courts deferred to agency interpretations of ambiguous statutes, died when the U.S. Supreme Court overruled its previous decision in Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council — but it is survived by many cases decided under the Chevron framework, say Joseph Schaeffer and Jessica Deyoe at Babst Calland.

  • How To Clean Up Your Generative AI-Produced Legal Drafts

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    As law firms increasingly rely on generative artificial intelligence tools to produce legal text, attorneys should be on guard for the overuse of cohesive devices in initial drafts, and consider a few editing pointers to clean up AI’s repetitive and choppy outputs, says Ivy Grey at WordRake.

  • Opinion

    A Tale Of 2 Trump Cases: The Rule Of Law Is A Live Issue

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    The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in Trump v. U.S., holding that former President Donald Trump has broad immunity from prosecution, undercuts the rule of law, while the former president’s New York hush money conviction vindicates it in eight key ways, says David Postel at Henein Hutchison.

  • Series

    Boxing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Boxing has influenced my legal work by enabling me to confidently hone the skills I've learned from the sport, like the ability to remain calm under pressure, evaluate an opponent's weaknesses and recognize when to seize an important opportunity, says Kirsten Soto at Clyde & Co.

  • Opinion

    Industry Self-Regulation Will Shine Post-Chevron

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    The U.S. Supreme Court's Loper decision will shape the contours of industry self-regulation in the years to come, providing opportunities for this often-misunderstood practice, says Eric Reicin at BBB National Programs.

  • 3 Ways Agencies Will Keep Making Law After Chevron

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    The U.S. Supreme Court clearly thinks it has done something big in overturning the Chevron precedent that had given deference to agencies' statutory interpretations, but regulated parties have to consider how agencies retain significant power to shape the law and its meaning, say attorneys at K&L Gates.

  • Opinion

    Atty Well-Being Efforts Ignore Root Causes Of The Problem

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    The legal industry is engaged in a critical conversation about lawyers' mental health, but current attorney well-being programs primarily focus on helping lawyers cope with the stress of excessive workloads, instead of examining whether this work culture is even fundamentally compatible with lawyer well-being, says Jonathan Baum at Avenir Guild.

  • Series

    Skiing And Surfing Make Me A Better Lawyer

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    The skills I’ve learned while riding waves in the ocean and slopes in the mountains have translated to my legal career — developing strong mentor relationships, remaining calm in difficult situations, and being prepared and able to move to a backup plan when needed, says Brian Claassen at Knobbe Martens.

  • Class Actions At The Circuit Courts: June Lessons

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    In this month's review of class action appeals, Mitchell Engel at Shook Hardy considers two recent decisions from the Third and Tenth Circuits, and identifies practice tips around class action settlements and standing in securities litigation.

  • Unpacking The Circuit Split Over A Federal Atty Fee Rule

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    Federal circuit courts that have addressed Rule 41(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure are split as to whether attorney fees are included as part of the costs of a previously dismissed action, so practitioners aiming to recover or avoid fees should tailor arguments to the appropriate court, says Joseph Myles and Lionel Lavenue at Finnegan.

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