Risk Update

Judicial Smears (Alleged), Disqualifications and Hacked Firms (Hypothetical)

Okay, let’s get on with the business. I’ve had my eye on some interesting developments over the past few months and thought a broad summary of key developments would be interesting. Just in case folks haven’t tracked all the in’s and out’s of what’s been going on out there. I’ll be sharing a mix of what’s caught my eyes of the past few months, over the next few weeks.

Let’s start with some drama: “Squire Patton Atty Says Judge Smeared Him In Arbitration DQ” —

  • “A Squire Patton Boggs partner disqualified from arbitrating a fee dispute between a Chesapeake Energy subsidiary and the U.S. arm of a Chinese state-owned oil company wants in on the case now before the Fifth Circuit on appeal, claiming the lower court wrongly and unfairly tarred his reputation.”

  • “Dallas-based Squire Patton Boggs LLP partner Patrick Long told the Fifth Circuit Monday that he wasn’t even aware of the fight between Chesapeake and OOGC America LLC over fees for development in the Eagle Ford Shale until he was given a copy of U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes’ Dec. 5 order partially invalidating an arbitration award after determining that Long spent nearly a year hiding his own business ties to Chesapeake while serving on the arbitration panel. In that ruling, Judge Hughes called Long “corrupt” and a “liar,” finding Long had hid his relationship to people and investments associated with Chesapeake.

  • “But Long told the Fifth Circuit that Judge Hughes’ “accusations were based on a flawed, incomplete understanding of the relevant facts.” He said he’s never represented Chesapeake, nor had any financial or social relationships with any officers or directors of the company or OOGC, as well as any witnesses called in the underlying arbitration.”

Next, an interesting read: “The Lawyer’s Duty When Client Confidential Information is Hacked From the Law Firm” —

  • “Imagine it’s a usual Tuesday morning, and coffee in hand you stroll into your office. Right inside the door, you see a handwritten notice on a big whiteboard which says: All network services are down, DO NOT turn on your computers! Please remove all laptops from docking stations & keep turned off. ‘No exceptions'”
  • “This really happened. In 2017, DLA Piper was hacked by the NotPetya malware, and until the breach was resolved, the 4,400-attorney law firm was reduced to conducting business by text message and cell phone.”

The article goes on to explore relevant opinions and rules, outlining three key duties:

  1. Monitor for Electronic Data Breaches
  2. Stopping the Breach, Restoring Systems, and Determining What Occurred
  3. Providing Notice to the Client
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