October 18, 2018

Current Issue Highlights

The ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct

Volume 34 Issue 21
October 17, 2018

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

Litigation Funders Create $50 Million Pool for Women Lawyers

Burford Capital, the largest litigation finance firm, is setting up a new $50 million pool of capital earmarked for women-led litigation matters. more

Labaton Settlement Sheds Light on Behind-the-Scenes Class Practices

A proposed settlement in a festering fee dispute could upend the relationships between law firms and how they connect with plaintiffs in class action cases. more

Court Decisions

Baker Donelson Disqualified in Allergy Antitrust Case

Baker Donelson was disqualified from defending Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in an antitrust case brought by its former client, a federal court in Louisiana ruled. more

Lawyers Disqualified After Clients' Interests Diverge

Lawyers who represented individuals and their jointly owned businesses were disqualified after a dispute arose among the business owners. more

'Empty Head' Errors Lead to Attorney's Reprimand

An attorney who filed multiple appellate briefs that changed the body of her original brief was publicly reprimanded by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. more

Lawyer For Seattle Ex-Mayor's Sex Abuse Accuser Sanctioned

A lawyer was properly sanctioned for using the court docket "for the improper purpose of generating publicity" in a case alleging Seattle's then-mayor sexually abused a minor, a Washington state appeals court ruled Oct. 8. more

Otsuka Escapes Sanctions Over Deleted Emails in Abilify Suits

<COMPANY SUBJECT.ID="urn:blp:company:JP:4578">Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.</COMPANY>won't be sanctioned in litigation over an alleged Abilify-gambling link for deleting emails between 2002 and 2006. more

Non-Profit Sanctioned For Botched Litigation Hold

A jury should hear evidence on whether Howard Brown Health Center destroyed or failed to preserve instant messages that are relevant to an employment discrimination lawsuit, a federal magistrate judge said. more

Insurer to Pay Class Attorneys' Fees in Yahoo's Privacy Battle

Yahoo Inc.'s insurance company will have to pay $4 million in attorneys' fees related to an email scanning class settlement, a federal court ruled. more

Shire Escapes Paying Attorneys' Fees in Lialda Patent Case

Drug giant Shire won't have to pay generic drug company Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC's attorneys' fees in patent litigation over Shire's colitis drug Lialda. more

Vietnam Vets' Law Firm Awarded Only $3.4M in Experimentation Case

The law firm that spent nine years fighting and winning health care for veterans subjected to government-administered human testing of chemicals including sarin, mustard gas, and LSD was awarded $3.4 million in fees. more

Tax Recovery Could Be Unauthorized Practice: Fla. High Court

A nonlawyer and his company engaged in the unlicensed practice of law in helping a client recover surplus proceeds from a tax sale, provided the allegations were true, the Florida Supreme Court said in approving an advisory opinion. more

Right to Counsel Applies Between Sentence and Appeal

A federal district court will order Pennsylvania to re-sentence a prisoner despite his failure to first present his claim in state court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held Oct. 2. more

Public Defender Wait List Suit No Longer Necessary

Three indigent Louisiana men who were detained for months without being assigned public defenders no longer have any basis for their civil rights action, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held Oct. 4. more

Ethics Opinions

Bar Advises on Conflict Checks in a GDPR World

A new legal ethics opinion highlights the need for attorneys to keep in mind professional conduct rules when complying with international privacy laws. more

Lawyers Can Advertise Other Degrees Held, Ohio Board Says

Lawyers holding other degrees can advertise their credentials as long as they're not false or misleading, the Ohio Supreme Court's ethics board said in a recent opinion. more

Disciplinary Proceedings

Supreme Court Won't Review Reprimand of Missouri Prosecutor

A Missouri prosecutor told Bloomberg Law he was not surprised that the busy U.S. Supreme Court decided not to review his attorney discipline case, but he said the case nevertheless raised important First Amendment issues. more

Lawyer Suspended After Gamesmanship Tactics Caught on Tape

An Ohio lawyer was indefinitely suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court after ignoring discovery requests and failing to show up for a deposition—tactics he told his client about. more


Big Four Accounting Jostles Law Firms for Legal Services

Big Four accounting firms led by PwC topped the pack this year among the best-regarded alternative legal service providers, a new survey shows. more

Burford Raises $250 M in 24 Hours, Litigation Funding Rolls On

Burford Capital, the world's largest litigation finance firm, announced this week that it had raised another $250 million in a span of just 24 hours, the latest sign that litigation funding is still booming. more

California Lawyers Have Ethical Cover to Advise Pot Clients (1)

A new rule gives California lawyers ethical cover to advise cannabis clients, which engage in activities that are legal in California but conflict with federal law. more

California Supreme Court Recuses Itself in Judicial Pay Suit

All California Supreme Court justices recused themselves in hearing a case seeking $36 million due in back pay and raises for state judges. more

'Tenth Justice' Argued an Unexpected Case—That's His Prerogative

U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco chose an obscure and technical issue to argue in front of the justices this sitting, but court watchers tell Bloomberg Law there was likely a good reason for that. more

Walmart Likely to Settle After Sanction for Destroying Evidence

<COMPANY SUBJECT.ID="urn:blp:company:US:WMT">Walmart Inc.</COMPANY> is likely to settle a suit in Puerto Rico alleging a display swing collapsed and caused a customer to drop "like a breadfruit" after a federal judge recently sanctioned the retailer for intentionally destroying important evidence. more

Susman Godfrey Offers Unlimited Gender-Neutral Parental Leave (1)

Susman Godfrey rolled out a new parental leave policy Oct. 2, offering associates unlimited, gender-neutral paid parental leave.

It'll be interesting to see if other law firms, particularly big ones, follow suit, Stephanie Biderman, a managing director with Major, Lindsay & Africa in New York, said. Biderman said she doesn't know of other U.S. firms offering unlimited parental leave. more

A Bright Spot for Women Fighting Gender Equity Gap at Law Firms

Progress toward Big Law gender equity remains slow, but women have gained positions on leadership committees at the biggest U.S. law firms, a new survey shows. more

Law Firm M&A on Record Pace Though Few Blockbusters

Blockbuster law firm mergers have been few and far between this year, but legal industry combinations have been racing ahead and setting records. more

Law Firm Added to Nationwide 401(k) Lawsuit

A proposed class action challenging the 401(k) service fees charged by Nationwide Life Insurance Co. has expanded to name mass tort law firm Andrus Wagstaff PC as a defendant. more

McDonald's Labor Case Gets Political

Attorneys for <COMPANY SUBJECT.ID="urn:blp:company:US:MCD">McDonald's</COMPANY> recently fired off a strongly worded missive against a former Bush White House ethics chief who said two GOP members of the National Labor Relations Board should sit out a case against the fast food giant.

The company's lawyers describe Richard Painter as a "recently failed Democratic Senate candidate" in their Oct. 9 letter, aimed at convincing the pair of Trump appointees to stay on the case. They ask the NLRB to consider Painter's career as a "cable news talking head" and his "anti-Trump platform" during an unsuccessful bid for a Senate seat, including calls for the 45th president's impeachment. more

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