Current Issue Highlights

The ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct

Volume 35 Issue 5
March 6, 2019

The ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct consists of:
  • a regularly updated manual and
  • a biweekly Current Reports notification service.

For more information about this publication, click here.

Here are highlights from the latest issue of Current Reports:

Leading the News

Michael Cohen Could Practice Law Again, But It Won't Be Easy

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen may one day be able to practice law again after New York State disbarred him this week, but his return to practice would be far from a sure thing. 84

Gaetz's Cohen Tweet Could Bring Bar Discipline—Or Nothing

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz faces a number of potential consequences for his tweet at Michael Cohen on the eve of his congressional testimony, including public reprimand, disbarment, and a congressional ethics investigation. Or the whole thing could blow over. 84

Court Decisions

Bradley Arant Can't Represent Longtime Client's Rival

An Alabama law firm can't dump its longtime client to represent the opposing party in a patent infringement lawsuit, a federal court ruled Feb. 26. 86

California Attorney in Hot Water for Sexist Insult of Judge

A California attorney is in professional trouble for calling the ruling of the female judge in his case "succubustic," among a host of other insults. 86

AIG Mafia Claims Were Frivolous, Warrant $25,000 Sanction

A Pennsylvania attorney's "frivolous" pursuit of a whistleblower's false claims action against <COMPANY SUBJECT.ID="urn:blp:company:US:AIG">American International Group Inc.</COMPANY> requires a $25,000 sanction, the Southern District of New York said. 87

Lawyer Can't Get All SEC Records in His Ongoing Fraud Case

A lawyer who's been fighting securities fraud allegations for over seven years can't force the SEC to turn over all documents related to his case, a federal judge said Feb. 19. 87

Lawyer Who Ditched Pay-to-Play Argument Faces Malpractice Claims

A New Jersey lawyer will face a legal malpractice suit for failing to assert a viable "pay-to-play" corruption-related claim when he represented the owners of a waste-collection company, a New Jersey appeals court said in an unpublished ruling. 87

Prosecutors Misstep, Water Park Decapitation Case Thrown Out

Murder and other charges against owners and designers of a Kansas water park in the decapitation death of a 10-year-old boy were thrown out by a state court that said prosecutors abused the grand jury process. 88

NYC Faces Liability for Rogue ADA's Illegal Wiretaps

New York City may be liable for the activities of a rogue assistant district attorney who illegally recorded a coworker's cell phone conversations, a federal district court said. 88

Attorney's Vulnerable Victim Sentence Enhancement Proper

A Connecticut attorney who was convicted of conspiring to defraud homeowners facing foreclosure lost his bid to get his 30-month sentence reduced. 89

Johns Hopkins Nurse Gets Retaliation Suit Dismissed as Sanction

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine properly won dismissal of a nurse's long-running retaliation suit as a sanction for the way she conducted her litigation, the Fourth Circuit said Feb. 22. 89

Syngenta GMO Corn Class Members Can't Sue Their Attorneys

Farmers who will collect from the $1.5 billion settlement resolving claims <COMPANY SUBJECT.ID="urn:blp:company:SW:SYNN">Syngenta AG</COMPANY>'s marketing of genetically modified corn seeds shut them out of the Chinese market can't sue their attorneys, a federal court said March 1. 89

Successful Lawyer Loses Bid for Extra Disability Benefits

A lawyer who passed the bar exam and co-founded a law firm during the period he claimed to be totally disabled lost his lawsuit seeking additional disability benefits from Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co. 90

Flint Water Lawyer Stuck With Arbitrators' Ruling for Ex-Partner

A Philadelphia class action attorney couldn't convince a federal court Feb. 19 to second-guess an arbitration ruling in favor of his former law partner over contingency fees from the Flint water litigation. 90

Malpractice Claims Against South Carolina Attorneys Untimely

Two South Carolina attorneys and their firms are off the hook for allegedly sparking a former employee's defamation claim against their client. 90

Ethics Opinions

NYC Bar Says When Lawyers Have to Reveal Facts Adverse to Clients

The New York City bar's ethics committee recently defined an ex parte proceeding as one where only one side has the opportunity to present its case. 92

Disciplinary Proceedings

Attorney Who Got Ex-Client to Waive Harassment Claims Disbarred

A Vermont attorney who sexually harassed a former client working at his firm and then pressured her into signing a release of harassment and discrimination claims is disbarred, the Vermont Supreme Court ruled. 93

Failure to Pay $3 Nets Attorney Additional Discipline

An Ohio attorney who failed to pay $3.37 in court costs related to earlier discipline can't practice law until a court reinstates him, the Ohio Supreme Court said Feb. 21. 93

Kansas Attorney Who Threatened Elderly Clients Gets Suspended

A Kansas attorney who threatened an elderly couple to get extra legal fees is suspended indefinitely from practicing law in the state, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled. 93

Judge Who Interfered in Teen Daughter's Traffic Case Suspended

An Ohio judge temporarily lost his law license for repeatedly trying to get his teenage daughter out of a speeding ticket, the state's highest court said Feb. 28. 94

Iowa Attorney Suspended for Overbilling Meetings, Mileage

An Iowa attorney who overbilled the state public defender's office can't practice law for at least a year, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled. 94


Securities Lawyer Indicted for Alleged $54M Pump-and-Dump Scam

A California securities lawyer who the SEC previously barred from the industry helped fraudsters run an alleged $54 million pump-and-dump scheme, according to an indictment filed Feb. 28. 95


Meetings and Conferences

Annual Legal Malpractice & Risk Management Conference, Chicago, March 5-7, 2019. 96

Copyright © 2019 by the American Bar Association and The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc., Washington, D.C.