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Blog Posts

ABA - American Bar Association

ABA passes anti-discrimination rule

Early last week, the American Bar Association (“ABA”) House of Delegates passed an amendment to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibiting lawyers from engaging in any harassment or discrimination as it relates to the practice of law.  The amendment’s passage comes after months of debate, comment, and revision.  Revised Resolution 109 passed the ABA House of Delegates by a voice vote and without any dissenting comments from the house floor.  The newly adopted version of the rule is reflective […]

Maria Elena Perez Faces Suspension Over Involvement with NCAA-Miami Probe

Suspension looms for lawyer in NCAA-Miami probe

A lawyer for rogue Miami booster Nevin Shapiro may face up to a 91-day suspension from the practice of law for her role in assisting the NCAA with its investigation into the University of Miami Athletics program. Florida Bar Alleges Perez Violated Ethical Rules in Conjunction with Her Assistance to the NCAA Documents filed by the Florida Bar Association with the Florida Supreme Court in the case of attorney Maria Elena Perez reveal that the a Florida Bar referee recommended […]

Burden of Proof

Burden of proof in attorney discipline cases

In a recent attorney discipline case before the Utah Supreme Court, the disciplined attorney argued that the proper burden of proof for attorney disciplinary proceedings involving “criminal acts” is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, the Supreme Courts rejected the attorney’s invitation, holding that the burden of proof applicable to attorney discipline proceedings, whether or not they involve claims of criminal acts, under the Utah Rules of Lawyer Discipline is proof “by a preponderance of the evidence.” Disciplined Attorney Charged […]

Nexsen Pruet Sued Over Failure to Communicate

Nexsen Pruet sued over lost whistleblower suit

In October 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) resolved a $237 million judgment against Tuomey Healthcare System, following a 2013 jury verdict that found Tuomey had illegally billed Medicare for services referred by physicians Tuomey had an improper financial relationship with.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in July 2015.  However, now, several Tuomey board members have sued Nexsen Pruet, the law firm that represented Tuomey in the lawsuit. Jury Finds Tuomey Violated the Stark Law and […]

attorney license suspension

Prosecutor’s six month suspension upheld

In a recent case before the Utah Supreme Court, the court affirmed a six month suspension from the practice of law of a former Davis County prosecutor for violation of the Utah Rules of Professional Conduct.  Specifically, the prosecutor was alleged to have violated Rule 3.3 and Rule 3.8, which set forth an attorney’s duty of candor toward a tribunal and a prosecutor’s duty to timely disclose exculpatory evidence or information to a defendant, respectively.  While the Utah Supreme Court […]

Labor Commission Fee Rgulation Found Unconstitutional

Labor Commission fee schedule illegal

In 1917, the Utah Legislature enacted the Workers’ Compensation Act.  Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, injured workers are required to forego their common law tort remedies against their employers in exchange for a process by which employers compensate injured workers for workplace injuries regardless of fault.  Shortly after the Legislature passed the Workers’ Compensation Act, the Legislature created the Industrial Commission, which it bestowed with the “full power to regulate and fix the fee charge” of attorneys involved in workers’ […]

Rule 1.9 Duties to Former Client

Rule 1.9 and substantial relation

In certain instances, a party may move to disqualify counsel for an opposing party.  Reasons a party may seek to disqualify opposing counsel may include: 1) concurrent conflicts of interest; 2) personal interest conflicts; 3) former client conflicts of interest; 4) lawyers as witnesses; 5) receipt of confidential, privileged, or stolen information; 6) contact with a represented party; 7) misconduct with witnesses; 8) other misconduct; 9) imputed misconduct, including imputed conflicts of interest; and 10) the appearance of impropriety.  Of […]

Reimbursement of Conditional Medical Payments

MAO may seek reimbursement from law firm

In the first opinion of its kind, a federal district judge in Virginia recently held that a Medicare Advantage Organization (“MAO”) may utilize the Medicare Secondary Payer Act’s (“MSP”) private right of action to pursue a claim for reimbursement of covered medical expenses against the plan beneficiary’s personal injury attorney. In Humana Ins. Co. v. Paris Blank LLP, defendant Paris Blank moved to dismiss Humana’s complaint, which sought reimbursement of conditional medical payments.  Humana contracts with the Centers for Medicare […]

Criminal Contempt

Criminal contempt allegations against AUSA thrown out

In a recent federal court ruling, Federal District Judge David Nuffer denied an order to show cause against several Assistant United States Attorneys (“AUSA”).  In United States v. Zander, Case No. 2:10-cr-1088-DN, the defendant moved for an order to show cause against several AUSA, alleging that the prosecutors should be held in criminal contempt for: “(1) violating a court order requiring disclosure of 404(b) evidence, and (2) including false statements of material fact in two of their briefs.” Zander’s Convictions […]

Block Billing Practices

Block billing costs attorneys dearly

All attorneys know that tracking and billing time to their clients is an important and inevitable part of working in a law firm.  Most attorneys bill their time in six, ten, or fifteen minute increments, depending on firm policy and/or client directives.  If an attorney fails to bill his or her time to a client, then the firm cannot invoice, and, as a result, the firm does not get paid.  Accordingly, timekeeping, and even more importantly, incremented timekeeping as opposed […]