Friday, January 7, 2011

Conflicts Waiver Language at Root of Law Firm Malpractice Suit

[via Courthouse News Service.] From California comes the story of a malpractice suit against Proskauer Rose. In this case, an executive and his employer were jointly represented by the firm. The executive and firm are now at odds, and he is alleging that the firm was conflicted and acted in violation of the terms of a conflicts waiver he executed previously:
  • "Frazee says that Proskauer Rose sent him a conflict of interest waiver letter in December 2006, asking him to consent to joint representation of him and Ascent in the Zuzenak arbitration at Ascent's expense. He says he agreed and reasonably relied on the assurances in the letter, 'that defendants were unaware of any conflict of interests between Ascent and plaintiff, but that if a conflict between Ascent and plaintiff did arise, defendants would cease representing plaintiff and plaintiff would be provided an opportunity to obtain separate representation at his own expense.'"
There's more interesting history underlying this one. Given the known facts, it's unclear if this is case of repeated procedural manipulation, or a case of one party falling short of its obligations. It will be interesting for the court to sort it out...

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