Thursday, July 21, 2011

Conflicts Allegations and Disqualification Attempts

Law firm conflicts allegations in the news:
  • "Chevron Ecuador: Patton Boggs Law Firm Works For, Then Against, Chevron" -- "Patton Boggs, the Washington DC law firm that Chevron Ecuador plaintiff lawyer Steven Donziger brought in to take some heat and spotlight off of him as allegations of fraud and general Ecuadorian dirty-dealing surfaced, also lobbied for Chevron. That's right. In the summer of 2010, and before it got involved on the Ecuador side of the Chevron Ecuador case, Patton Boggs purchased another law practice called Breaux Lott Leadership Group. Well, Breaux Lott Leadership Group has represented Chevron. It's not only clear that Patton Boggs knew this, but is now in court trying (unsuccessfully, thus far) to argue that it's not a conflict of interest." See also assitional news on this case via the Blog of the Legal Times: "Judge To Patton Boggs: 'Day Late And A Dollar Short.'"
  • "Law Firm Not Disqualified Where Partners Represented Plaintiff and Defendant in Matters Not Substantially Related" -- A partner at the firm representing the plaintiff had previously represented the defendant. The defendant alleged that the representation was in the same matter, but the court ruled otherwise:
    • “The court determined that the partner was not currently representing the defendant, and that Rule 1.9(a) and not Rule 1.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct applied. The Partner had represented the defendant in the zoning approval process, and the plaintiff’s attorney is representing the plaintiff in a breach of contract claim. The Court determined that the matters were not substantially related since zoning approval is not relevant to the current breach of contract claim, nor would any confidential material the partner had be helpful to the plaintiff’s attorney.”
    • Written decision: Sullivan Const. Co., LLC v. Seven Bridges Found., Inc., FSTCV106005404S, 2011 WL 1032250 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2/22/2011).

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