With bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reaching shocking new prices seemingly every day, some people have finally started putting the new payment systems to real use – paying lawyers. Earlier this fall Nebraska became the first state to hand down a formal ethics ruling on the propriety of lawyers charging their clients using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In allowing lawyers to charge their clients via cryptocurrencies, so long as they then instantly exchange the virtual currency for U.S. dollars, the decision may be indicative of a larger trend in the legal industry. Continue Reading
On December 1, 2017, two amendments to the Federal Rules of Evidence came into effect that impact how courts authenticate digital evidence. The addition of two categories to Rule 902’s list of self-authenticating documents seeks to streamline the introduction of digital evidence by avoiding costly delays that often serve little purpose. In doing so, it promises greater efficiency to those who adapt their practices to the new requirements.
Rule 902(13) waives the requirement of external authentication for “records generated by an electronic process or system,” provided that the accuracy of the process or system is certified by a person who meets the qualification requirements of 902(11) or (12). Examples of such records provided by the Advisory Committee include an operating system’s automated log of all USB devices connected to the computer, or a phone software’s machine-generated record of the time, date, and GPS coordinates of each picture taken. Continue Reading
As the economy continues to globalize, so too does the reach of antitrust law. Two recent cases illustrate the interaction between international trade and U.S. antitrust law: Biocad v. F. Hoffman-La-Roche Ltd. and In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation. These cases invoke the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvement Act, which creates exceptions to the jurisdiction limiting language of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and exposes defendants to liability for conduct involving import and export trade or commerce. As the law evolves to keep up with changing trade and practices, the underlying principle to protect competition remains the same. Continue Reading
When it overturned a federal court’s order suppressing a litigant’s right to publicly gripe about a pending suit late last month, the Ninth Circuit took the opportunity to remind those of us in the legal profession that we are held to a different, higher standard when it comes to public comment on litigation. In an early footnote in the Court’s opinion in In re Dan Farr Productions, the Ninth Circuit distinguished the instant case from its prior decision in Levine v. U.S. Dist. Court, noting that counsel “are officers of the court subject to fiduciary and ethical obligations” which “do not apply to non-attorney participants.” Slip Op. at fn. 3. Continue Reading
Last month, the Court of Appeal of England and Wales granted permission for Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. Ltd. (“ENRC”) to appeal the May 2017 decision by the High Court relating to a dispute over the legal professional privilege with the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”). The Court of Appeal will likely hear the case next year. Continue Reading
In the past several months, China has adopted new arbitration rules and unveiled a new arbitration center to help resolve the inevitable international disputes arising from the development of The Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, commonly referred to as the One Belt One Road Initiative.
Although China is a signatory to the New York Arbitration Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, China has been considered a difficult jurisdiction for international arbitration because few Chinese judges and lawyers are familiar with the relevant law. Between 1994 and 2004, Chinese courts enforced just 37 percent of foreign arbitral awards. Continue Reading
On October 16, 2017, the Supreme Court agreed to review the Second Circuit’s decision in United States v. Microsoft Corp., a case that highlights the current tension between law enforcement needs and privacy concerns in a rapidly changing digital landscape. Continue Reading