Former BigLaw associate is accused of lying about time spent on document review project

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A former Dentons associate is accused in an ethics complaint of falsely claiming that he spent 277 hours to review 425 documents for a client responding to a discovery request.

The associate, David Hall, actually reviewed 20 of those documents during the document review project, according to the Sept. 9 ethics complaint by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

The Legal Profession Blog published part of the complaint.

Hall had worked as a summer associate at Dentons in 2017 before joining the firm as an associate in October 2018. Hall was assigned to the document review project in late 2020 and early 2021. His job was to determine which documents were responsive to discovery requests in litigation involving the client.

Lawyers at Dentons confronted Hall about the false document review entries March 12, 2021, according to the complaint. Hall allegedly admitted that he hadn’t reviewed the documents, and his billing entries contained false information. The law firm fired him.

Dentons discovered the false entries before any client was billed for work that wasn’t done.

The law firm released this statement to the ABA Journal: “As noted in the complaint, Dentons immediately and appropriately addressed the situation and none of our clients were impacted.”

Hall is currently working at a law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He did not immediately respond to an email sent from the Journal early Monday seeking comment.

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