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Showing 3 posts from November 2015.

What You Need to Know About the Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Going Live Tomorrow

Major changes to the federal rules go into effect tomorrow December 1st. The amendments apply to cases currently pending in the federal court.  Below are a few highlights of the amendments that lawyers should be aware on a going forward basis.   

Perhaps the biggest change pertains to the scope of discovery permitted in federal courts. As amended, Rule 26 provides that the scope of discovery allows a party to obtain and non-privileged information that is relevant to the parties' claims and defenses, and proportional to the needs of the case. The phrase "reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence" has been deleted. The concept of proportionality was added to the beginning of Rule 26(b)(1) to emphasize that proportionality can and should be used to limit discovery especially where the burden of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. There are a series of factors in making a proportionality determination that a court and the parties should consider including the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation, the importance of discovery in resolving those issues, the amount in controversy, as well as the parties relative access to relevant information and their resources.  More ›

Contingency Fee Dispute Results in Double-Damage Award Under Connecticut's Revised Wage-Dispute Statute

Robert Healey v. The Haymond Law Firm, PC, HHD-13-CV-6042956-S (Hartford, Connecticut, October 29, 2015) showcases the risk posed when there is no proper documentation of a fee-splitting arrangement, as well as untimely payment. Firms should pay scrupulous attention to the documentation of all such arrangements and to their pay practices as a result of such arrangements. While there may be a safe harbor defense in jurisdictions like Connecticut if the employer can establish it had a good faith belief that the wages were paid in compliance with the law, this may not always be the case More ›

Transition Activities in the sale of a Law Practice

For several years in Illinois, Rule 1.17 of the Rules of Professional Conduct has authorized the sale of a law practice, including the sale of goodwill.  Illinois Rule 1.17 provides:

A lawyer or a law firm may sell or purchase, and the estate of a deceased lawyer or the guardian or authorized representative of a disabled lawyer may sell, a law practice, including good will, if the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) The seller ceases to engage in the private practice of law in the geographic area in which the practice has been conducted;

(b) The entire practice is sold to one or more lawyers or law firms;

(c) The seller gives written notice to each of the seller’s clients regarding:

(1) the proposed sale;

(2) the client’s right to retain other counsel or to take possession of the file; and

(3) the fact that the client’s consent to the transfer of the client’s files will be presumed if the client does not take any action or does not otherwise object within ninety (90) days of receipt of the notice.

If a client cannot be given notice, the representation of that client may be transferred to the purchaser only upon entry of an order so authorizing by a court having jurisdiction. The seller may disclose to the court in camera information relating to the representation only to the extent necessary to obtain an order authorizing the transfer of a file.

(d) The fees charged clients shall not be increased by reason of the sale. More ›