A federal judge has ruled against Washington, D.C., solo practitioner Mark Zaid in his pursuit of $466,000 from the government on a claim that Congress unlawfully interfered with a private contract he had with two clients and restricted his compensation. Zaid alleged that a private relief bill that Congress passed restricted the attorney fees he was entitled to collect. The bill awarded $2 million to Zaid's clients and capped his fee at 10 percent.
N.Y. High Court: Lawyer Subject to Treble Damages for Attempt to Deceive Court
New York Law Journal
Tracing the legal principles behind a New York statute on lawyer deceit to a law adopted by the English Parliament in 1275, the New York Court of Appeals has determined that an attorney can be subject to treble damages in New York for an unsuccessful attempt to deceive a court. Responding to certified questions from the 2nd Circuit, the Court of Appeals ruled that the "unique statute of ancient origin" was not a codification of common law fraud, and applied to attempted deceptions as well as successful ones.
ERISA Class Action Filed Against Fund That Invested With Madoff
The Legal Intelligencer
Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis has filed a class action in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against investment management fund Austin Capital Management Ltd. for millions in losses due to alleged improper investments by the fund into securities controlled by accused Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff. The law firm says the suit, filed on behalf of a pension fund, is the first suit involving Madoff to be filed against an investment manager for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
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Aggressive IP Strategy Fails -- Again
Eyebrows went up when Silvaco Data Systems sued the customers of a software maker, Circuit Semantics, that it had beaten in a trade secrets case. Last week, one of those customers, Cypress Semiconductor Corp., notched a win in the long-running fight. A judge granted summary judgment to Cypress, ruling that Silvaco didn't have the evidence to show that Cypress acquired or knew about the stolen trade secrets when it bought software from Circuit Semantics.
Three Offices of Attorney Declared 'Vexatious Litigant' Shut Down
The National Law Journal
The State Bar of California has shut down three offices of attorney Mitchell W. Roth, who was recently declared a "vexatious litigant" by a federal judge in Los Angeles, according to the Bar. Roth, who had expanded his law practice to include foreclosure cases, has been hospitalized due to severe depression since Jan. 23, according to the Bar.
Former Miss. Auditor Sentenced in Bribery Case
The Associated Press
A former Mississippi state auditor and a disbarred lawyer were each sentenced to two years in federal prison Friday for their roles in a judicial bribery scheme that toppled famed tobacco litigator Richard "Dickie" Scruggs. Former Mississippi auditor Steve Patterson and disbarred attorney Timothy Balducci were involved in a conspiracy to bribe a judge in a dispute between Scruggs and other lawyers over $26.5 million in legal fees from Hurricane Katrina litigation, authorities said.
Dreier Released From Jail, Begins Home Detention
New York Law Journal
Attorney Mark Dreier was released from jail Friday and was escorted by deputy U.S. marshals to his Manhattan apartment, where he will remain under home detention until $400 million fraud charges against him are resolved. Dreier was also required to put up a $10 million personal recognizance bond co-signed by his mother and son.
Peanut Corp. of America Files for Bankruptcy
The Associated Press
The peanut processing company at the heart of a national salmonella outbreak is going out of business. Peanut Corp. of America filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy Friday, the latest bad news for the company that has been accused of producing tainted peanut products that may have reached everyone from poor school children to disaster victims. So far, the outbreak has been suspected of sickening more than 630 people and may have caused nine deaths. It also has led to one of the largest product recalls in U.S. history.
Foley Hoag Forms a 'Stimulus Plan' Practice Group
The National Law Journal
Foley Hoag has formed an interdisciplinary team to help clients get stimulus plan money from the U.S. government for capital projects and other qualified programs or projects. The Boston-based firm's government relations practice formed the team with attorneys from four other practice groups, including energy technology and renewables; environment; infrastructure and privatization; and life sciences.
|Visual Computer Forensic Analysis|
Special to Law.com
Computer forensics is a slow process in which examiners embark on a tedious file review that can add extra costs. But researchers Greg Conti and Erik Dean have adapted and applied visualization to the process, potentially resulting in a dramatic reduction of the time it takes to review files.
Visit Legal Technology
There's a Better Way to Lay Off Employees
As the country faces an economic downturn, law firms and corporations are forced to take actions such as downsizing and mass layoffs as cost-cutting solutions. As a result, employers and employees are struggling with a multitude of challenges, and a proactive solution is needed immediately. The key is strategic planning, says lawyer and business development professional Melanie A. Klinghoffer. She outlines a three-part plan designed to focus on an organization's most valuable asset: people.
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Ex-Heller and Cooley Godward Associate Braces for Tough Market
Did people forget to tell law firms that a pink slip is not an appropriate Valentine's Day card? It was probably because they were busy job-hunting. If so, they're in good company, with people like corporate attorney Inna Efimchik. At Heller Ehrman when the firm collapsed, she successfully moved with some of Heller's Venture Law Group to Cooley Godward, only to be laid off a few months later. "There really isn't anyone to send your resume to," Efimchik says, but she's been "networking as wildly as I can."
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