Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Risk News: Disqualifications and Lateral Hires

  • Law firm, Dickstein Shapiro, disqualified despite arguments regarding advanced waiver language -- In this case, the law firm entered into an agreement not to participate in a matter, but argued previous agreements that waived future conflicts superseded that agreement. The judge disagreed. John Steele at the Legal Ethics Forum offers additional commentary: “In general, I'd really like to see federal judges move toward not just enforcing agreements between sophisticated, institutional clients and law firms, but insisting that those clients and firms enter into contracts governing obvious conflicts issues.”
  • News of increasing lateral hiring and conflicts implications: “More Law Firms Raid Competitors to Poach Rainmakers.” The article examines the implications of one firm’s significant work on Madoff recovery matters, where lawyers in other practice groups express some discontent: “Another concern is a conflict-of-interest issue: Baker Hostetler would not represent many large banks and wealthy families because they were defendants in Madoff lawsuits. This would also make it a challenge for the Madoff team to join another large national firm with clients, or prospective clients, that have been sued by the trustee.”

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