Legal Ethics

News & Analysis as of

Mistakes Happen - How to Respond When They Do

Attorneys are human. They make mistakes. However, how an attorney responds to a mistake may be more important than the mistake itself. In the face of potential civil liability, sanctions or disciplinary proceedings, care...more

2015 IP Law Year In Review

Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (May 26, 2015) - ..Does a defendant’s belief that a patent is invalid serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement? NO - ..Inducement requires...more

More Changes Ahead to the Rules of Professional Conduct?

Rule 8.4 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct is a bit of a catch-all. In general terms, it prohibits "lawyer misconduct." Even more ambiguous, Rule 8.4(d) prohibits "conduct prejudicial to the administration of...more

New York City Bar Addresses Local Counsel Ethics and Risk Management Issues

Recent years have seen a number of civil damage actions in which attorneys who thought they were serving only as local counsel in a matter have been sued for alleged failures to provide representation beyond what local...more

MA Supreme Court Issues Highly Anticipated Patent Ethics Decision

Simultaneous representation by a law firm in the prosecution of patents for two clients for similar inventions is not a per se violation of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct. On December 23, in Chris E....more

Fenwick Employment Brief

Bag Checks for Apple Employees Not Compensable Time - Apple Inc. recently convinced a California federal district court to dismiss a certified class action alleging that Apple had a legal duty to pay store workers for...more

Top tips for firms hiring contract attorneys

With rate pressures and expenses mounting, law firms are looking for new ways to make ends meet. One area that seems to be exploding is the use of contract, or freelance, attorneys. Often, these attorneys are willing to apply...more

Untrusted Advisor: How Your Law Firm May Fail to Protect Your Data

In recent years, the prevalence of data and information security breaches at major corporations have become increasingly more commonplace. While general awareness may be increasing, many companies are still neglecting to...more

Reduce the Risk of Malpractice Claims - Whoops - Legal Malpractice Prevention

Legal malpractice claims just keep coming. Rarely does a week go by without another article about a new high-profile legal malpractice lawsuit. Sometimes, these claims are the result of a simple mistake. Claims can arise when...more

A Civil Discussion

This week sees the annual ACI Drug and Medical Device Litigation get-together in New York. Here's a shameless plug: we will take part in a panel discussion on civility, diversity, and ethics. We were assigned the dreaded...more

New York Trial Court Dismisses FCA Tax Case against Vanguard; Determines Relator Violated Confidentiality Provisions of State...

On November 13, 2015, the New York State Supreme Court dismissed a qui tam action brought under New York State Finance Law §§ 187-194 (“False Claims Act”) against The Vanguard Group Inc., The Vanguard Group of Mutual Funds,...more

The Ethical Duty of Competence in 2015

Although the legal field is not a profession known for embracing change, several developments over the past year have made it clear that even lawyers have an ethical obligation to understand the basics of modern technology. ...more

Top takeaways from 33rd Annual IAHA Annual Meeting

On Oct. 27, 2015, the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys was held at Navy Pier in Chicago. Hundreds of health care attorneys attended, including several from Thompson Coburn. The symposium was...more

Social Media and Practice: Questions Attorneys Should Ask Now

Social media users number in the billions. Facebook counts over 1.4 billion users, LinkedIn has 347 million members, Instagram has 300 million, Twitter has nearly 290 million, and YouTube reports more than a billion users....more

D.C. Adopts Screening of Laterals, But Adds Delayed or No Notice Exception

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals, in Order No. M-242-12 of Oct. 8, has adopted amendments to RPC 1.10 that will allow firms who hire lateral lawyers to screen those lawyers in order to prevent imputation of their...more

Do in-house lawyers care less about second opinions than people who don’t care about second opinions?

50% of Americans do not get second opinions for important medical diagnoses. 30% of the time the second opinion causes changes in the diagnosis or treatment. Do the math. I don’t know the data on what percentage of in-house...more

State Farm v. Hansen: Nevada Supreme Court Adopts California Independent Counsel Rules

The Nevada Supreme Court has adopted California’s independent counsel rules, holding that an insured is entitled to select its own counsel where an insurer’s coverage reservation creates an actual conflict of interest between...more

Insurance Recovery Law - October 2015

Unfair Trade Practices Exclusion Doesn't Cover Consumer Protection Suits - Why it matters: An unfair trade practices clause did not bar coverage for a policyholder's subsidiary, an Illinois federal court ruled, ordering...more

3 Reasons to Draft Fair Contracts

An attorney drafting an agreement has an obligation to represent the client zealously and to prepare a contract that maximizes the client’s legal and business advantages. But does this mean that an attorney may include...more

The Ethics of Using Public Adjusters as Expert Witnesses

Somewhere in Texas at this very moment a public adjuster is knocking on the door of a home or business owner offering to inspect the roof for wind or hail damage and assist with the submission of an insurance claim. It is...more

DOL to Pay $1.5 Million to Employer for Bad Faith Investigation

In an interesting turn of events and what I’m sure will be gratifying for some employers, the Department of Labor has agreed to pay Gate Guard Services $1.5 million to settle claims involving the DOL’s overly aggressive and...more

An Introductory Guide to Arbitration in Singapore

With the high volume of trade and business involving Asian companies, Singapore is increasingly seen as the most attractive seat of arbitration for the reliable resolution of disputes within the Southeast Asian...more

Keeping Confidences

One of our very favorite cartoons is part of the “Ballard Street” collection by Jerry Van Amerongen. It depicts an earnest soul working away at his desk (we like to think he’s an HR professional) beneath a prominently-posted...more

California Ethics Committee Issues Opinion on Ethical Implications of eDiscovery

After over a year of consideration and an extended comment period, the State Bar of California Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct recently issued an Opinion regarding the ethical obligations of...more

Ostriches Beware: E-Discovery Ethics In Social Media

“Electronic document creation and/or storage, and electronic communications, have become commonplace in modern life, and discovery of ESI is now a frequent part of almost any litigated matter. Attorneys who handle litigation...more

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