Thursday, August 19, 2010

Law Firm Conflicts & Confidentiality Roundup -- More in the News

New stories about law firm conflicts:
  • Crowell & Moring facing malpractice suit stemming form its representation of victims in the 1996 hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73: "The plaintiffs signed a joint prosecution agreement requiring them to waive any potential conflicts with other plaintiffs and to share recovery based on a formula in the agreement...the complaint asserts that the law firm had a conflict of interest when it represented U.S. nationals and non-U.S. nationals at the same time. It claims that the law firm knew that the prospects for recovery -- because of the likelihood government-directed settlement -- were much better for U.S. nationals than non-U.S. nationals but failed to disclose that information to the plaintiffs. 'C&M's conduct was motivated by its desire to maximize the possibility that it would receive fees under the C&M retainer,' the complaint alleges."
  • Balch & Bingham removed from BP oil case due to "potential" conflict: The Alabama Attorney General excused Balch from participating in the suit against BP because the firm had previously a firm that would likely be named in the suit along with BP. The AG said he: "...did not believe Balch Bingham has an ;actual conflict; but company officials agreed it would be in the best interest of the company and the state that the firm not be involved."
  • [via Legal Ethics Blog]-- An interesting decision concerning a lawyer who did non-legal work as an insurance adjuster for an adverse party. The judge denied the motion, citing, among other factors, the use of an effective ethical screen: "Here, the trial court, after hearing testimony, found the presumption of a transfer of confidential information from Reiche to the R. Rex Parris Law Firm had been fully rebutted by undisputed evidence that Reiche had not yet begun his employment with the firm and that effective screening had been implemented at the inception of the employment interview..."

No comments:

Post a Comment