Monday, December 5, 2011

Recent Law Firm Conflicts, Disqualifications and Penalties

In Washington, D.C., Butzel Long Tighe Patton PLLC recently found itself facing harsh words from a judge, who stripped the firm of $72,000 in fees for failing to disclose a conflict. "...the judge slammed a partner, saying it was "inexcusable" he didn't show up for a fee application hearing." [via BLT. See the written decision.]

In Washington State, a firm was disqualified for giving legal advice to both sides in the same dispute. "Grant PUD law firm disqualified in Crescent Bar case" --
  • "At the time, Aylward told Trautmann that there could be a conflict of interest, since his partner, David Sonn, occasionally did legal work for the PUD, but he added that he thought he could get a waiver."
  • "But with the waiver issue still unresolved, Aylward proceeded to correspond with Trautmann over the following month, including giving what she believed was 'specific advice regarding strategy' that the condo owners could use in their argument against the PUD."

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