Courts

  • Former Texas Atty Gets 50 Years For 'Ponzi-Type' Client Fraud

    A Texas federal judge sentenced a former San Antonio lawyer to 50 years in prison after he pled guilty to mishandling millions in client funds to support his "extravagant lifestyle," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement Wednesday.

  • Justices To Weigh Stark Split In Views Of ATF Bump Stock Ban

    A firearms instructor who claims the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives doesn't have the authority to ban bump stocks may have a slight edge when the case is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next week, attorneys told Law360.

  • Columbia, Barnard Don't Protect Jewish Students, Suit Says

    Columbia University and Barnard College have a long history of allowing antisemitism to run rampant on their campuses and most recently have failed to protect Jewish students from harassment and violence following the Hamas-led killings in Israel on Oct. 7, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan.

  • Voters Want Ga. Officials Sanctioned For Withheld Evidence

    Voting rights advocates who faced off with Georgia election officials at trial last month are now seeking sanctions against the Coffee County, Georgia, board of elections and its attorneys for allegedly withholding evidence related to a January 2021 voting machine breach in the county and for knowingly allowing a witness to lie under oath.

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    Justices Offer Conflicting Clues In Copyright Damages Fight

    U.S. Supreme Court justices hearing a case over damages in copyright disputes gave conflicting hints Wednesday about where they stand on the discovery rule, a judicially created doctrine that allows claims to accrue when plaintiffs learn of alleged infringement.

  • Justices Squabble Over Emergency Review Of EPA Smog Plan

    The U.S. Supreme Court's liberal wing denounced during oral argument Wednesday their colleagues' decision to consider the merits of four related emergency requests to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from implementing a plan to reduce cross-state pollution without first getting lower court input.

  • Mass. High Court Pick Challenged Over Past With Governor

    Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey's pick for the state's highest court faced questions Wednesday about potential conflicts of interest arising from her past romantic relationship with the governor from members of the panel that votes to confirm judicial nominations in the state, a rare pushback by the Governor's Council.

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    4th Circ. Won't Revive Ex-NC Assistant AG's Bias Suit

    The Fourth Circuit on Wednesday refused to revive a former assistant attorney general's gender and disability bias suit against the North Carolina Department of Justice, finding her medical conditions weren't extreme enough to warrant pausing the deadline to refile her complaint.

  • Sen. Whitehouse Slams Supreme Court Fact-Finding

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee's federal courts subpanel, blasted in a new law review article the U.S. Supreme Court's "improper" fact-finding under Chief Justice John Roberts.

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    Rapid Response Team Releases AI Guidance For State Courts

    An artificial intelligence rapid response team created by state judiciary leaders has released interim guidance and resources to help state courts navigate AI technologies, the National Center for State Courts said Wednesday.

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    Novel Ruling Finds NJ Prosecutor Conflict Doesn't DQ Office

    Addressing a case of first impression, a New Jersey appellate panel turned to case law in other states in concluding Wednesday that a supervising prosecutor's personal conflict does not automatically disqualify the entire office.

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    Bankman-Fried Gets New Attys After Waiving Crypto Conflict

    A Manhattan federal judge signed off Wednesday on Sam Bankman-Fried's choice of new counsel ahead of his fraud sentencing, despite the fact that the convicted FTX founder's new team represents an indicted ex-crypto CEO whose interests may conflict with his own.

  • Ohio Justice Fights To Keep Election Label Rule Suit Alive

    Ohio Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Brunner pushed back against the Buckeye State secretary of state's bid to throw out her suit challenging a law requiring candidates for appellate judgeships to have their party affiliations on election ballots, arguing her constitutional rights had already been violated.

  • Judge Threatens Ex-Trump Aide With Contempt Over Records

    A D.C. federal judge threatened to hold a Trump-era White House aide in contempt for his continuing failure to turn over all the records covered by the Presidential Records Act to the U.S. government.

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    Justices Back Choice-Of-Law In Marine Insurance Suit

    An insurer can enforce choice-of-law provisions in a marine insurance policy it issued to the owner of a yacht that ran aground, the U.S. Supreme Court said Wednesday in a decision upholding long-standing maritime law principles of uniformity and certainty.

  • Justices Reject Ga.'s Bid To Retry Man Acquitted Of Murder

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked Georgia's attempt to again prosecute an accused murderer whose trial ended in contradictory verdicts, finding that "an acquittal is an acquittal" regardless of a simultaneous guilty verdict for the same offense.

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    Retired Orange County Probate Judge Joins JAMS Roster

    Alternative dispute resolution service JAMS is expanding its mediation team, announcing Wednesday that it is adding a former Orange County Superior Court judge with 24 years of experience on the bench as one of its mediators.

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    Miner Barnhill Vet Among Biden's Latest Judicial Picks

    President Joe Biden announced five judicial nominees on Wednesday to serve on the Seventh Circuit as well as on district courts in Illinois, Arizona and the District of Columbia.

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    Liberal Justices Hint Chevron Deference Hanging By A Thread

    In the U.S. Supreme Court's latest battle royal over administrative powers, left-leaning justices at oral arguments Tuesday openly suggested that the landmark legal doctrine underpinning modern rulemaking might soon shrivel up, clearing the way for industry-led challenges to regulations on the books for decades.

  • Ill. Public Defender Sues Over Display Of Israeli Army Photo

    An Illinois public defender filed a First Amendment lawsuit against her county employer after she was reprimanded for a photograph of her holding a gun in front of an Israeli flag that she displayed in an office area in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.

  • How Future Litigators Are Training In A 'Flight Simulator'

    Law students who would traditionally experience only a few courtroom scenarios over a semester have begun working with programs that can provide an entire array of courtroom curveballs, thanks to large language model artificial intelligence technology.

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    US Trustee Wants Sorrento Ch. 11 Tossed Or Relocated

    The U.S. Trustee's Office has moved to have Sorrento Therapeutics' Chapter 11 case dismissed, alleging the biopharmaceutical company manufactured a venue in Texas bankruptcy court, even as the debtor asked for court approval to sell off its assets to its CEO under a revised reorganization plan.

  • Ex-BigLaw Atty Avoids Prison For Ch. 11 Lies

    A former BigLaw partner on Tuesday was spared any prison time for lying to a New York bankruptcy court in his 2022 personal Chapter 11 case, in an attempt to shield his assets from creditors.

  • Justices Decline Malpractice Dispute Over $6M Settlement

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the appeal of a Massachusetts legal malpractice suit in which Lubin & Meyer PC was accused, and cleared by a lower court, of pressuring a family into accepting a $6 million settlement that the family claims could have been higher.

  • Girardi Keese Trustee Recovers $1.8M In Fees For Exide Case

    A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved an agreement between the Girardi Keese bankruptcy trustee, a former attorney for the firm and the Mandell Law Firm to end an adversary proceeding connected to $1.8 million in attorney fees from a lawsuit over the toxic Exide battery plant in Vernon, California.

Expert Analysis

  • A Model For Optimal Legal Tech Investment Strategy Author Photo

    Legal organizations struggling to work out the right technology investment strategy may benefit from using a matrix for legal department efficiency that is based on an understanding of where workloads belong, according to the basic functions and priorities of a corporate legal team, says Sylvain Magdinier at Integreon.

  • Series

    My Nonpracticing Law Job: Recruiter Author Photo

    Self-proclaimed "Lawyer Doula" Danielle Thompson at Major Lindsey shares how she went from Columbia Law School graduate and BigLaw employment associate to a career in legal recruiting — and discovered a passion for advocacy along the way.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Do I Balance Social Activism With My Job? Author Photo

    Corporate attorneys pursuing social justice causes outside of work should consider eight guidelines for finding equilibrium between their beliefs and their professional duties and reputation, say Diedrick Graham, Debra Friedman and Simeon Brier at Cozen O'Connor.

  • Personality Tests And Machine Learning Applications In Law Author Photo

    Mateusz Kulesza at McDonnell Boehnen looks at potential applications of personality testing based on machine learning techniques for law firms, and the implications this shift could have for lawyers, firms and judges, including how it could make the work of judges and other legal decision-makers much more difficult.

  • AI Is Reshaping Lawyering: What To Expect In 2024 Author Photo

    The future of lawyering is not about the wholesale replacement of attorneys by artificial intelligence, but as AI handles more of the routine legal work, the role of lawyers will evolve to be more strategic, requiring the development of competencies beyond traditional legal skills, says Colin Levy at Malbek.

  • Embrace Active Voice In Legal Writing — In Most Cases Author Photo

    Legal writers should strive to craft sentences in the active voice to promote brevity and avoid ambiguities that can spark litigation, but writing in the passive voice is sometimes appropriate — when it's a moral choice and not a grammatical failure, says Diana Simon at the University of Arizona's James E. Rogers College of Law.

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    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Help Associates Turn Down Work? Author Photo

    Marina Portnova at Lowenstein Sandler discusses what partners can do to aid their associates in setting work-life boundaries, especially around after-hours assignment availability.

  • How AI Legal Research Tools Are Shifting Law Firm Processes Author Photo

    Although artificial intelligence-powered legal research is ushering in a new era of legal practice that augments human expertise with data-driven insights, it is not without challenges involving privacy, ethics and more, so legal professionals should take steps to ensure AI becomes a reliable partner rather than a source of disruption, says Marly Broudie at SocialEyes Communications.

  • Data Source Proliferation Is A Growing E-Discovery Challenge Author Photo

    With the increased usage of collaboration apps and generative artificial intelligence solutions, it's not only important for e-discovery teams to be able to account for hundreds of existing data types today, but they should also be able to add support for new data types quickly — even on the fly if needed, says Oliver Silva at Casepoint.

  • Bracing For A Generative AI Revolution In Law Author Photo

    With many legal professionals starting to explore practical uses of generative artificial intelligence in areas such as research, discovery and legal document development, the fundamental principle of human oversight cannot be underscored enough for it to be successful, say Ty Dedmon at Bradley Arant and Paige Hunt at Lighthouse.

  • Why I Use ChatGPT To Tell Me Things I Already Know Author Photo

    The legal profession is among the most hesitant to adopt ChatGPT because of its proclivity to provide false information as if it were true, but in a wide variety of situations, lawyers can still be aided by information that is only in the right ballpark, says Robert Plotkin at Blueshift IP.

  • Series

    Ask A Mentor: How Can I Use Social Media Responsibly? Author Photo

    Leah Kelman at Herrick Feinstein discusses the importance of reasoned judgment and thoughtful process when it comes to newly admitted attorneys' social media use.

  • Yada, Yada, Yada: The Magic Of 3 In Legal Writing Author Photo

    Attorneys should take a cue from U.S. Supreme Court justices and boil their arguments down to three points in their legal briefs and oral advocacy, as the number three is significant in the way we process information, says Diana Simon at University of Arizona.

  • How Firms Can Stop Playing Whack-A-Mole With Data Security Author Photo

    In order to achieve a robust client data protection posture, law firms should focus on adopting a risk-based approach to security, which can be done by assessing gaps, using that data to gain leadership buy-in for the needed changes, and adopting a dynamic and layered approach, says John Smith at Conversant Group.

  • 5 Life Lessons From Making Partner As A Solo Parent Author Photo

    Laranda Walker at Susman Godfrey, who was raising two small children and working her way to partner when she suddenly lost her husband, shares what fighting to keep her career on track taught her about accepting help, balancing work and family, and discovering new reserves of inner strength.

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