Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Risk Roundup: Conflicts, Ethical Screens, Electronic Discovery + More

  • Failure to properly ethically screen results in firm disqualification from $285 million matter: In this case, a judge found fault with a New York firm's screening practices. The judge ruled that while the firm did take steps to restrict internal information sharing, it did not provide sufficient internal notification regarding the screen and failed to inform required external parties.
  • From the New York Law Journal comes an interesting story about a judge ordering Blank Rome to set up a "Chinese Wall" in response to a disqualification motion. What's interesting about this ruling is that the judge said there was no conflict in this case of a divorce where the husband's company was represented by the same firm now representing his wife. The husband argued the firm had access to sensitive personal financial information through its corporate activities. However the judge disagreed, even though there was no conflict or sensitive information: "Nevertheless, citing the 'unusual set of circumstances,' [the judge] directed that the firm erect a Chinese wall in order to protect the parties interests and privacy."
  • From PinHawk Law Technology Daily Digest comes a link to a story about "the importance of lawyers understanding ediscovery." It provides an excellent overview of the evolving and complex world of electronic discovery rules, including "safe harbor" provisions that have recently made news.

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