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Legal Profession

Dewey Ballentine was one of the bluest of blue chip law firms. LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae was an upstart that grew rapidly and gathered large clients like a farmer gathers hay. In 2007, the firms decided to merge creating Dewey & LeBoeuf, one of the largest law firms in the world. Yesterday, it put itself into the hands of receivers under the USA's Chapter 11 provisions.

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A lawyer, formerly with Baker & McKenzie in New York has pleaded guilty to money laundering and conspiracy to commit securities fraud while with the firm.

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The Law Society of England and Wales is mounting one of its biggest PR campaigns ever as HSBC, one of the largest residential mortgage lenders in the UK says that all its mortgage work is to be handled by only 43 firms.

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James D Levitt is 66 years old and facing serious jail time. Aside from his latest conviction, he's behind on payments on a prior criminal conviction in respect of which he still owed more than USD400,000.

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Solicitors in England and Wales have been issued with a new Practice Note (a non-binding guidance) relating to the use of social media including sites such as Twitter and Facebook. It reveals a fascinating insight into the ways in which supposedly transient media can trip up the unwary, and not just lawyers.

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An English solicitor has been struck off the Roll following "gross recklessness." He acted in a land-banking scam.

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When Dubai wanted a model for its courts system for the (then) new financial centre, it chose that of the English legal system. Now the British government wants to capitalise on the standing and reputation of the UK Courts and ancillary services, including arbitration, and turn London into the world's leading "law tourism" centre.

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An anonymous posting, purporting to be by a solicitor in private practice, has appeared on the website of The Law Society's Gazette, the organ of the Law Society of England and Wales. If there was ever a reason to question the quality of the profession, this is probably high on the list.

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As the USA's crisis over the failure of Congress to finalise a Federal budget, the US Federal Courts system is one of those on the front line. What will happen if Congress fails to solve the problem tomorrow (8 April).

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A fascinating case in Massachusetts, USA, has defined, in that state but with persuasive force elsewhere, the question of when a person is "practising law." It has widespread implications: struck off or suspended lawyers are effectively banned from earning a living from their accumulated skill and knowledge while lay advisers are free to offer the same services even without the same skills and experience.

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The USA's Securities and Exchange Commission has started proceedings against David M Tamman, a lawyer and partner with Greenberg Traurig LLP of Santa Monica, California, alleging improper professional conduct during an SEC examination.

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The Amazon Defense (sic) Coalition (ADC) is a pressure group that doesn't just wash its dirty linen in public, it makes a point of waving it around so as many people as possible see it. The ADC is a largely amorphous group claiming "a group of Amazonian grass roots organizations and communities who have joined to defend and sustain our peoples and environment through unification of our forces and the integration of the entire Ecuadorian Amazon."

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A barrister, charged by Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), was today (Tuesday) sentenced to one year's imprisonment at the District Court for attempting to steal more than HK$30,000 from two foreign clients by claiming that the sums would be used for hiring a Queen's Counsel (QC) for them.

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California's Attorney General Edmund Brown has issued a case against two companies that "lured desperate home-owners with a deceptive marketing scheme." Five individuals are also named including two lawyers.

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A lawyer in Orange County, California, has pleaded guilty to the misappropriation of more than USD 2 million awarded to claimants in a class action suit.

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