Awards

APRL member Timothy Strauch successfully represented an office supply company, Masters Group International Inc., in a lawsuit against the company’s bank, Dallas-based Comerica Inc

APRL member Timothy Strauch successfully represented an office supply company, Masters Group International Inc., in a lawsuit against the company’s bank, Dallas-based Comerica Inc. The bank was found to have reneged on a deal to maintain Masters’ credit line. In January, the jury awarded Mr. Strauch’s client $41.5 million in compensatory damages and $10.5 million in punitive damages. Mr. Strauch noted: “I think it took a Montana jury to render this verdict. Where fair is fair and a deal is a deal.”
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Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts Agrees with Position Stated in APRL’s Amicus Brief

On July 10, 2013, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts issued a decision in RFF Family Partnership, LP v. Burns & Levinson, LLP, Case No. SJC-11371, that recognized the availability of the attorney-client privilege for communications between lawyers and their law firm’s in-house counsel provided the following four conditions are satisfied: “(1) the law firm has designated an attorney or attorneys within the firm to represent the firm as in-house counsel, (2) the in-house counsel has not performed any work on the client matter at issue or a substantially related matter, (3) the time spent by the attorneys in these communications with in-house counsel is not billed to a client, and (4) the communications are made in confidence and kept confidential.” In issuing its decision, the court acknowledged the amicus briefs of APRL, the American Bar Association; the Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc.; and the Boston Bar Association. The full opinion can be viewed or downloaded here.

APRL Board approves recommendation of APRL’s Policy Statements Committee to Co-sponsor ABA Resolution on Judicial Disqualification Based on Financing of Judicial Elections

At its regularly scheduled meeting on July 9, 2013, the APRL Board voted to adopt the recommendation of the Policy Statements Committee to co-sponsor ABA Resolution 108 and oppose Resolution 10B on judicial disqualification based on the financing of judicial elections. ABA Resolution 108 is sponsored by several ABA Standing Committees seeking to amend the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct to provide guidance on when disqualification of an elected judge is required as a result of “aggregate contributions” or “independent expenditures” made in support of, or in opposition to, a judge’s election or retention campaign. ABA Resolution 108 can be viewed or download here. ABA Resolution 10B can be viewed or downloaded here.

Arthur Burger

Arthur Burger

APRL member Arthur Burger was interviewed for and quoted in an article that appeared in the National Law Journal on March 11, 2013, concerning whether a non-client sibling entity that shared a general counsel with a law firm’s client can sue the law firm. The legal malpractice case is pending before the D.C. Court of Appeals. The article by Zoe Tillman is titled “Legal Malpractice Puzzle.”

Amicus Brief Filed by APRL with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

On February 25, 2013, APRL filed with the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts inRFF Family Partnership, LP v. Burns & Levinson, LLP, Case No. SJC-11371, an amicus curiae brief in support of the court’s continued recognition of the availability of the attorney-client privilege for communications between lawyers and their law firm’s in-house counsel.To review the brief, click here.

Public Statement on Ethics 20/20 Commission’s Foreign Lawyer Proposals (12/11/12)

On December 11, 2012, the APRL Board approved two statements, the first in support of the ABA Ethics 20/20 Commission’s proposed revisions to the ABA Model Rule on Pro Hac Vice Admission and the second in support of the Commission’s proposed revisions to ABA Model Rule 5.5 and the ABA Model Rule for Registration of In-House Counsel concerning inbound foreign lawyers. To review or download the statements, please click here. On December 18, 2012, the Commission circulated its resolutions concerning those same issues, which will be considered by the ABA House of Delegates on February 11, 2013 at the ABA Mid-year Meeting in Dallas, Texas. To review the Commission’s revised proposals, click here.

Jan L. Jacobowitz – University of Miami School of Law Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program

The American Bar Association recognized the University of Miami School of LawProfessional Responsibility and Ethics Program, which is under the direction of APRL member, Prof. Jan L. Jacobowitz, as a recipient of this year’s E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award. The E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards are the leading national awards recognizing programs and projects contributing to the understanding and advancement of professionalism among lawyers. Dennis R. Honabach, Chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Professionalism, stated: “The Committee was particularly impressed with the program’s unique amalgam of an extraordinary ‘real-world’ experience for their student instructors and valuable legal-learning benefits for the recipient local legal organization and firms. Your program offers a model for law schools in communities with a concentration of legal organizations to partner with such a program.”
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David Atkins – Connecticut Law Tribune

APRL member David Atkins was quoted in an article in the Connecticut Law Tribune concerning a proposed change to Connecticut’s Rules of Professional Conduct that would permit lawyers and law firms to take advantage of Internet services to attract clients. David had represented several Connecticut lawyers who were charged but not sanctioned under the current rule.
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