Tuesday, October 16, 2012

3M Disqualification -- News and Opinion Around the Web

Last week, a judge disqualified a law firm which had previously presented 3M (see our previous coverage): "Minn. Judge Disqualifies Covington from Representing State In Big Enviro Case Against Ex-Client 3M" --
  • "Agreeing that 3M Co. had been betrayed by a major law firm's decision to help the Minnesota attorney general pursue an environmental suit against its former longtime corporate client, a judge has disqualified Covington & Burling from continuing to represent the state in the litigation against 3M."
  • "Hennepin County District Court Judge Robert A. Blaeser wrote: 'Covington has exhibited a conscious disregard for its duties of confidentiality, candor, full disclosure, and loyalty to 3M by failing to raise its conflicts arising from the fact that it previously advised and represented 3M on FC [fluorochemical] matters. Additionally, Covington is disqualified in order to protect 3M's confidential information Covington obtained during its representation of 3M, which is relevant to the issues at the heart of the state's case.'"
This decision made news in the mainstream press and garnered commentary from industry pundits. See the interesting analysis on the details from the Professional Responsibility Blog:
  • "Interestingly, however, the basis for the ruling is not that Covington violated the "hot potato doctrine" (which penalizes a firm for dropping a client to clear the way to accept the representation of a new client) as argued by 3M.  The court simply held that Covington violated rule 1.9 on successive conflicts of interest.  Either way, 3M has scored a big win."
And some direct commentary from the players involved: "3M v. Lanny Davis: For the Record."

No comments:

Post a Comment