To understand the significance of the engagement letter, it may be best for attorneys to take the word "engagement" out of the professional context and think about how the word is used in the individual context. To become engaged is one of the most significant acts we undertake as individuals. So, too, in the professional context, becoming engaged is one of the most significant acts a professional can undertake. When you enter into an engagement, you are binding yourself to another person.
Law Firm News
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney on Monday was hit with a multimillion-dollar malpractice suit by the U.S. Virgin Islands, which alleged the law firm gave wrong advice about whether a bond issue would be tax-exempt.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is not often in the business of confirming or denying the existence of, let alone commenting on, pending or closed investigations. But the office issued a public statement Tuesday to say no criminal charges would be filed against suspended state Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery or his wife, Lise Rapaport, in relation to an investigation into Rapaport's acceptance of referral fees.
While the Pennsylvania Supreme Court expects the state's Judicial Conduct Board to investigate and determine whether to charge Justice Seamus P. McCaffery within 30 days, lawyers said meeting the deadline might be an unrealistic goal for the modestly-staffed disciplinary body.
Business for law firms in Harrisburg and Lancaster has been improving at a steady pace, but an additional opportunity has presented itself for those willing to venture south.
The state Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments in a case involving the decertification of a class of medical providers who have received overdue medical benefit payments from Progressive Insurance Co. excluding interest.
While there are only a few Pennsylvania firms among those most frequently used by Fortune 500 companies, some of the largest corporations in the world call on Pennsylvania firms of all sizes for a variety of legal needs.
On Oct. 20, the board of directors meeting is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Saul Ewing, 1500 Market St., Centre Square West, 38th floor.
A Pennsylvania company has filed a nine-count complaint against its longtime outside general counsel, Squire Patton Boggs, over allegations the firm was conflicted in representing the company and its sole founder and allegedly helped that founder inappropriately benefit from the company's stock plan to the tune of millions of dollars.
Judges involved in sending pornographic or otherwise inappropriate emails to members of state agencies could face disciplinary action for tarnishing the reputation of the judiciary, lawyers said.
The merger of two small Philadelphia firms, one focusing on qui tam cases and the other on medical malpractice cases, may be part of a growing trend of mergers at the small and midsize firm level.
While the Philadelphia lateral market has been languishing when it comes to firms hiring from one another, in-house counsel seem to be an attractive draw.
They say everything is bigger in Texas, but the supply of lawyers isn't endless, making the successful entry of out-of-state firms into the market all the more challenging as the most sought-after talent is only going to lateral so often.
While the market for personal injury referrals is and has always been competitive, the key to maintaining a steady flow of referred cases or attracting new ones lies not only in a firm's reputation for success, but also in keeping up appearances with referral lawyers, several attorneys said.
Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery was one of the people found to have sent pornographic emails to a government email address within the state Attorney General's Office, according to a media report and sources who spoke to The Legal.
Labor and employment firm Willig, Williams & Davidson has formed an "of counsel partnership" with Chicago-based firm Illinois Advocates, the firms announced Wednesday.
Fox Rothschild is set to enter the Texas market today with the acquisition of 18-lawyer Dallas firm David & Goodman.
Two Pennsylvania law firms are part of a crop of 15 firms nationally that have agreed to hire fellows as part of the OnRamp Fellowship, a program designed to help female attorneys reenter the workforce after taking a few years off.
There may be nothing better for a lawyer's book of business than uncertainty in the law, so while new regulations announced Monday that aim to limit the controversial corporate inversion may put a stop to some of those deals, it won't stop the need for tax attorneys to dissect these new rules and the promise of continued political machinations.
A full-scale law firm acquisition would be somewhat of an outlier in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius' growth strategy, but it may be just what the firm is about to do with reports this weekend that leadership at Morgan Lewis and Boston-based Bingham McCutchen have agreed to press forward with a merger.
Longtime Drinker Biddle & Reath Chairman Alfred W. Putnam Jr. will hand over leadership of the firm next year to his second-in-command, executive partner Andrew C. Kassner, a number of sources have confirmed to The Legal.
Insurance boutique Nelson Brown Hamilton & Krekstein, which since February has shed 30 attorneys, has parted ways with six more attorneys and several key staff positions, sources close to the firm have said.
The state Superior Court has upheld the grant of summary judgment to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and some of its partners in a legal malpractice case involving a $112.5 million real-estate finance deal.
Drexel University's law school is to be renamed the Thomas R. Kline School of Law in honor of the Philadelphia litigator's $50 million donation to the university.
A former managing partner of several medical centers—who has twice been found liable for insurance fraud—testified in the highly contentious case between two of Philadelphia's personal-injury firms that Lundy Law had required payments from him before it would refer clients to his offices.
Greenberg Traurig has asked a Philadelphia judge to affirm an arbitration award of $673,060 in its favor and against two former shareholders who left to form their own firm.
As Pennsylvania-based law firms were setting their sights on national and international markets, out-of-town firms started opening up shop in the state. With foreign expansion slowing down for many Pennsylvania firms and competition in the local market increasing, area firms are refocusing their efforts on their own backyards.
Judicial campaigning and self-regulation of attorney discipline were some of the topics tackled during a panel discussion at the World City Bar Leaders Conference, hosted for the first time in Philadelphia.
For the leader of a midsized law firm, daily life is marked by constant balancing between keeping an active practice and managing the firm's business and strategic operations.
It is "irrational" and "illogical" to suggest U.S. Rep. Bob Brady, D-Pa., is still a candidate for Philadelphia mayor and thus bound by city campaign finance laws in repaying $450,000 in legal fees seven years after Brady lost the primary, his attorney argued before the state Supreme Court.
Sanctions imposed upon defense counsel for repeatedly canceling depositions in an infant death case have been upheld by a Lackawanna County judge.
In an economy in which revenue is hard to come by, mergers are increasingly viewed as a way for firms to capture market share. But merger discussions could also lead to lost revenue opportunities, making them a tricky proposition for firm leadership.
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott said it should not be disqualified from representing a "kids-for-cash" scandal defendant in a civil suit when the firm sued that defendant in a civil rights suit on behalf of one of the kids because both parties signed conflict waivers.
Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, a Texas-based firm with a Pennsylvania presence, is projecting a rebound in 2014 after seeing declines in gross revenue, profits per equity partner and revenue per lawyer in 2013.
The state Superior Court has upheld the criminal conviction of an attorney who—after his disbarment—continued to represent two clients in lawsuits.
Pepper Hamilton Chairman Louis J. Freeh, a former judge and director of the FBI, was in a New Hampshire hospital Tuesday after suffering serious injuries in a one-car accident in Vermont.
The Third Circuit reversed the writ of habeas corpus granted to a man who alleged the prosecution had been racially motivated when it tossed black jurors before his trial in 2001.
The state Supreme Court has declined to hear a brain-cancer-cluster case against Rohm and Haas that was initially dismissed, but revived later by the state Superior Court.
New Jersey-based Archer & Greiner has sued a Pennsylvania-based client in federal court for more than $1.15 million in alleged unpaid legal fees.
Dechert has officially been granted a license to practice law in Singapore, eight months after the firm applied for permission to practice in the country.
Practicing at a private law firm can be plenty stressful, and the demands placed on lawyers are often exhausting, but two Philadelphia attorneys are going through intense training in order to use their legal skills in an entirely new situation.
Do you want to retire and sell your firm? Do you want to slow down and let another attorney take over all the headaches associated with running your firm? Are you a partner in a megafirm who has decided that it's time to spend more time with the grandkids?
When Pennsylvania law firms are looking to grow in markets across the country, lateral candidates care far more about what those firms are doing in New York City and Washington, D.C., than they do about what is happening in firm headquarters, firm leaders said.
The events surrounding the departure of 16 lawyers from insurance boutique Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton, explained Monday to be part of Nelson Levine's interest in de-emphasizing its subrogation business, were further detailed in a complaint the surviving members of the firm filed against the departing lawyers and their new firm, de Luca Levine.
Pennsylvania's law firms had the largest rise in head count and the greatest decline in productivity in the second quarter of 2014, according to a national survey conducted by Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group.
Pittsburgh-based Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has sued New Jersey-based Powers Kirn over more than $250,000 in unpaid legal fees and the parties are now disputing the appropriate venue for the case.
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott's representation in a civil suit of the convicted co-owner of the juvenile detention facilities at the heart of the "kids-for-cash" scandal is under fire given the firm represented one of the detained juveniles who sued the co-owner and others.
Two recently installed presidents of defense bar organizations—the Pennsylvania Defense Institute and the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel—said they will devote their terms to mentoring and recruiting younger members to their ranks.
A Philadelphia judge has denied preliminary objections of the insurance company for defunct Wolf Block in a coverage suit involving the firm's decision not to make severance payments to a former partner after the firm dissolved.
In a case that previously ascended to the New Jersey Supreme Court and empowered clients to go after their lawyers despite having entered settlements, a state appeals court signed off on the dismissal of a legal malpractice suit against Duane Morris.
The events surrounding the departure of 16 lawyers from insurance boutique Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton, explained Monday to be part of Nelson Levine's interest in de-emphasizing its subrogation business, were further clarified in a complaint the surviving members of the firm filed against the departing lawyers and their new firm de Luca Levine.
A one-line email last week from the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel to McDonald's has brought to the fore an issue that local GCs and labor lawyers say has been bubbling up for nearly a year.
After two other courts found an FBI affidavit of probable cause to search union leader John J. Dougherty's home was appropriately in the public domain, a Philadelphia judge has thrown out Dougherty's legal malpractice suit against Pepper Hamilton for using the affidavit in a separate defamation action.
Finalizing the legal team to handle cases related to Foxwoods Casino's bankruptcy hasn't been a simple task. As DLA Piper was recently able to overcome the U.S. trustee's objections to the firm's representation of Foxwoods in its parent company's bankruptcy filing, the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General declined to represent the state in a sister suit in which the company is seeking to recover $50 million from the state government.
High-profile attorney Theodore "Ted" Simon, known for representing clients in criminal cases spanning the globe, is set to be inaugurated as the president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
It may appear to be a good time to begin marketing legal services to same-sex couples in Pennsylvania given the overturning of the state's ban on gay marriage, but lawyers who have long represented the community warn firms not to just stick "LGBT" in front of their practice and hope for work.
Although legal marketers occasionally work with sensitive materials, law firms have done little to protect marketing schemes and strategies when it comes to chief marketing officers and staffers jumping ship, according to several marketers.
As part of an effort to add muscle to the firm, Nelson Levine de Luca & Hamilton has hired a longtime Harleysville Insurance senior official as the new executive vice president and chief operations and strategic officer.
Money a county paid its solicitor for acting as interest arbitrator in a labor dispute will have to be repaid to the county, despite a resolution the county adopted agreeing to pay the attorney for the work, the Commonwealth Court has ruled.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied the appeal of a former Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti client who saw his $525,000 legal malpractice award against the firm overturned.
Charles E. Mitchell saw an opportunity to make a difference for Pennsylvania attorneys, particularly minorities faced with unfair circumstances, and jumped at the chance.
A restructuring of Jefferson Health System that did away with the need for the 40-person staff working for the system's parent entity meant Deputy General Counsel R. Christopher Raphaely was back on the market for a private-practice gig.
Steven F. Gadon, known not only for being the managing partner of Spector Gadon & Rosen, but also for his love of the Philadelphia Eagles, running marathons and his generous, warmhearted demeanor, died July 4 of pancreatic cancer at age 82.
Duane Morris and two former partners achieved a complete defense win in a legal malpractice trial in Colorado brought by a former client who claimed the defendants failed to timely secure a settlement on his behalf.
With five people stepping in to take over the roles of one of its retiring executive committee members, Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin is continuing its leadership transition with the goal of better aligning its management with the needs of a firm that has grown significantly in the past decade.
Blank Rome and longtime client St. Luke's University Health Network were each found by a jury Tuesday of improperly suing family members of two former patients who had sued the hospital over allegations a former nurse killed their loved ones, but the firm and health system were not assessed any damages.
As many firms continue to grapple with how to manage their clients' e-discovery needs, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has used its analysis of years' worth of discovery data to negotiate a flat rate with a managed services provider for the entire spectrum of e-discovery services.
Francis Ballard, an attorney at Ballard Spahr for 41 years, died June 20 at age 88.
A federal judge has granted Wolf Block's request to remand a case against the defunct firm's insurer to state court, finding the citizenship of the firm's partners at the time of dissolution is a genuine issue in determining whether there is diversity of citizenship for federal jurisdiction.
Bochetto & Lentz is still responsible for paying a $124,000 arbitration award to an ex-associate who has since been suspended from the bar for stealing money from the firm, the state Superior Court has ruled, rejecting the argument that public policy would preclude paying money to a lawyer who engaged in such conduct.
Reed Smith's Alexander Y. "Sandy" Thomas, who was tapped to lead the firm last October when longtime managing partner Gregory B. Jordan left for PNC, has been elected by the partnership as the firm's global managing partner.
John "Jack" Penders, a longtime partner at Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, died June 2 at the age of 72.
After 20 years at litigation defense firm Deasey, Mahoney, Valentini & North, name shareholder Jane A. North is leaving to become senior vice president of claims at client Philadelphia Insurance Cos.
Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has become the latest Pennsylvania firm to focus on expansion in Denver.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is preparing now for the elevation this October of litigation department head Jami Wintz McKeon to serve as chairwoman of the firm.
The same six Pennsylvania law firms appear on Legal affiliate The American Lawyer's Am Law 200 ranking this year as did last year, and as with their Am Law 100 counterparts, none fell into the magazine's "super rich" category of firms showing top results in both revenue per lawyer and partner profits.
For Philadelphia-based ACE Group General Counsel Kevin Rampe, the process of revamping his legal department has focused on better leveraging in-house talent and creating the technology to help a geographically dispersed legal team know who knows what.
Filling and keeping filled the chief marketing officer position within Pennsylvania's law firms has often been a struggle.
Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild saw its gross revenue increase by about 8.7 percent in 2013, a year in which the firm grew by more than 40 attorneys across the country, including a 16-attorney merger in Denver.
In the wake of a lawyer's year-and-a-day suspension for neglecting cases after the death of his son—and despite shorter suspensions given to two other lawyers for sexual misconduct—attorneys say the state Supreme Court's disciplinary board's role isn't to police attorneys tarnishing the profession's image as much as it is to protect clients.
Once again, Pennsylvania lawyers are finding themselves caught in the crosshairs of legislation that would have a dramatic impact on the way they do business, and, according to many of those lawyers, would hurt their ability to compete with other jurisdictions.
Attorneys for the family of Joe Paterno and Penn State University are set to argue today whether Pepper Hamilton should be forced to turn over documents related to the creation of the Freeh report.
Calling the defense counsel's behavior "unjustifiable," a West Virginia federal judge has sanctioned Drinker Biddle & Reath in the Ethicon transvaginal surgical mesh multidistrict litigation for continuing to remove cases filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia despite the judge's previous rulings that the cases belong in Pennsylvania state court.
DLA Piper has been granted an expedited hearing as to whether legal fees from the parent company of once-proposed Foxwoods Casino paid to the firm prior to the company's bankruptcy filing were property of the estate, thus transforming DLA Piper into a creditor.
Frederic L. (Rick) Ballard Jr., who helped transform his great-grandfather's law office into the national, 500-lawyer firm that Ballard Spahr is today, died May 11 at age 72.
In a profession that relies heavily on precedence, research of all forms has long driven even the business decisions of law firms. But in the past few years that function has morphed from one of printing out reams of information into one that involves targeted business analysis that often requires a leap of faith rather than following the doctrine of stare decisis.
While Pennsylvania law firms saw expenses rise more and revenue rise less than their national counterparts in comparing the first quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2014, an area banker cautioned that the state's firms just had less catching up to do after a stronger-than-average start to 2013.
Workers' comp turns 100 next year and one thing hasn't changed in all that time: Employers and employees systematically disagree on when it's time to go back to work.
Dante Mattioni, 83, a Philadelphia lawyer and founder of Mattioni Ltd., died Monday after a long illness.
A Philadelphia judge has ordered that defense attorney Nancy Raynor be sanctioned for allowing a defense expert to make a prohibited reference to smoking in a lung cancer-related medical malpractice case.
As far as any of them will tell, law firms haven't converted any of their conference rooms to "war rooms" filled with people looking to bring down the firm across the street. But keeping tabs on the competitive landscape is something law firms are increasingly attempting to do in-house—and every one seems to approach it differently.
David M. Rosenblum, a civil rights attorney and a leader in the gay rights movement in Philadelphia, died suddenly May 2 after suffering a heart attack at the age of 47.
Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has brought aboard Hank Pool, former deputy general counsel of longtime client PNC Bank, as senior counsel in its financial services practice.
Nine months after graduation, area law schools, with the exception of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, were lucky if more than half of their graduating classes had found full-time, long-term employment that required bar passage, according to data recently released by the American Bar Association.
Donald A. Scott, a Philadelphia corporate lawyer, died April 14 at the age of 84.
The state Supreme Court has reinstated a Montgomery County attorney who was suspended for six months after being convicted of charges related to covertly filming up the skirts of two females—one of whom was a minor—in a public place.
The Pennsylvania-based Am Law 100 firms are playing in the same sandbox as last year, with those in the top 50 growing on average at a faster pace than those in the bottom 50. But none of the firms in Pennsylvania made it to Legal affiliate The American Lawyer's list of the 20 "super rich" firms.
Harry R. Seay, a criminal defense attorney, died Feb. 25. He was 79.
Word of accident attorney Andrew H. Gaber's alleged insurance fraud scheme, pending arrest and eventual suicide last week sent shock waves through the personal injury bar, which was surprised to hear of the extent of the scheme and concerned about the stereotype it perpetuated.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court has ruled that a company whose factory burnt down in a fire caused by a furnace has no legal malpractice claim against a Bucks County attorney and his former firm for failing to assert a products liability claim against the furnace distributor.
A cyberintelligence company that happened upon patient data mistakenly made accessible on the Internet by a cancer detection facility can sue the facility for defamation after it alleged in a video and book that the intelligence company worked with the government to surveil private businesses, a federal judge has ruled in denying a motion to dismiss.