Monday, July 16, 2012

Law Firm Conflicts -- News & Updates

In matters relating to the dissolution of Dewey & LeBoeuf, Reuters reports that the firm was denied its choice of counsel. It continues to navigate the bankruptcy process, including attempts to recover funds from former partners who left the firm. (See the complete article for additional interesting detail about Dewey's efforts to destroy records that have yet to be claimed by former clients.)
  • "Dewey could have claims against partners who received hefty salary guarantees, as well as partners perceived to have taken value from the firm when their clients followed them to new firms."
  • "[U.S. Bankruptcy Judge] Glenn also denied Dewey's application to retain Proskauer Rose LLP to represent it on some employment law matters. The judge said Proskauer could have a conflict of interest because it had absorbed more than 60 former Dewey lawyers."
The Times Tribune reports that Eckert Seamans has been disqualified from its representation of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania in a matter involving the sale of a Triple-A baseball franchise:
  • "Luzerne County sued Lackawanna and the stadium authority in August 2010, contending it is entitled to half of the proceeds from the then-pending sale of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees franchise under the 1986 purchase agreement that brought minor league baseball to the region. Each county had chipped in $1 million to buy the franchise."
  • "Lackawanna County petitioned the court in October to disqualify Eckert Seamans from representing Luzerne in the suit because the law firm represented Lackawanna as bond counsel as recently as 2010."
  • "Judge Thomson, who heard arguments on the petition Thursday, agreed with Lackawanna's position and disqualified the firm as Luzerne's counsel."
In the court of public opinion, the Palm Springs-based Desert Sun argues:
  • "Grover Trask, Riverside County's district attorney for 24 years, is well-respected. On the surface, he would appear to a fine choice to investigate possible recruiting violations by the College of the Desert football program. But the firm he works for, Best Best & Krieger, represents COD. It defends the trustees who selected him against potential litigation."
  • "The law firm also works for Palm Desert and would be the firm to defend the city against a potential lawsuit by the family of Frank Tanuvasa, a COD defensive lineman from Alaska who was killed by a sheriff's deputy on Feb. 23. It's a clear conflict of interest."

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