Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Law Firm Conflicts and Controversy

Megaupload, Megacontroversy, Megaconflict?
Hogan Lovells partner withdraws from representation of Megaupload in its recent legal troubles. The organization is currently defending itself against accusations that it built an elaborate system designed to encourage online copyright infringement: “Robert Bennett was required to withdraw from the case because of a conflict involving at least one other client of his law firm, Hogan Lovells, this person told Reuters. The other client or clients were not identified.” Interestingly, Bennett represented Megaupload in other matters, so this may be a base both of “business” as well as ethical conflicts. [See American Lawyer story for additional detail.]

Risk When Law Firms and Politicians Mix
An interesting article exploring the relationship between one firm and Wisconsin’s Republican leadership: “In December news broke that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, a well-known conservative, had received about $100,000 worth of free legal services from a Michael Best & Friedrich attorney. The revelation created a controversy because the Supreme Court presides over cases argued by Michael Best & Friedrich. Accepting free services from the firm could be considered a conflict of interest.” [The judge in question denies a conflict of interest and will not recuse himself.]

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