News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Utah allows bar admission for DACA immigrants; first openly gay federal judge dies

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Utah allows bar admission for DACA immigrants

The Utah Supreme Court has approved a new rule that allows immigrants brought to the country illegally as children to gain admission to the state bar. The U.S. Department of Justice had opposed the move, citing the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. DACA had deferred deportation and granted work permits for such immigrants. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether President Donald Trump acted impermissibly when he decided to phase out DACA. (Law360, the Salt Lake Tribune)

First openly gay federal judge dies at 72

The nation’s first openly gay federal judge, Deborah Batts, has died at age 72. Batts died in her sleep, according to a spokeswoman for Fordham University School of Law, where Batts taught for more than 30 years. A federal judge in Manhattan, Batts had been scheduled to preside over lawyer Michael Avenatti’s trial for allegedly stealing money from adult film actress Stormy Daniels, his former client. (Bloomberg Law, ABC News)

Nondisclosure agreements don’t override reporting rule, New York bar says

The New York State Bar Association has approved new commentary to an ethics rule that says the duty to report misconduct to ethics regulators may apply even when a nondisclosure agreement is signed with a lawyer accused of sexual harassment. The commentary says the duty to report applies, despite a nondisclosure agreement, “if other lawyers in the firm know that such misconduct occurred and raises a substantial question about the alleged harasser’s fitness as a lawyer.” Another new commentary says the reporting rule “does not necessarily override” the obligations of an lawyer who is bound by client confidentiality. (Law360)

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