Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Conflicts in the News (School & Sports Edition)

"Judge says defendants in Atlanta public schools cheating scandal must have separate lawyers" --
  • "To avoid potential conflicts of interest, lawyers may not represent more than one of the 35 defendants in the case involving a cheating scandal in the Atlanta public schools, the judge in the case said Thursday."
  • "The lawyers who appeared Thursday for the conflict of interest hearing represented a dozen clients in the case."
  • "Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said during a hearing for lawyers who already have been representing more than one client in the case that he was acting very cautiously because he doesn’t want to encounter any potential conflicts — even if none are immediately evident."
  • "A Fulton County grand jury in March indicted 35 educators, including former Superintendent Beverly Hall, and accused them of involvement in a broad conspiracy to cheat, conceal cheating or retaliate against whistleblowers. Prosecutors say the educators were driven at least in part by bonuses for improved student performance."
  • "Bob Rubin, who represents two former Atlanta Public Schools principals, said he was confident there was no conflict of interest between his clients, who he said worked at different schools and had never spoken or met each other prior to their indictment. Rubin has been working with his clients for more than a year, and forcing one of them to start over with a new lawyer now could hurt their defense, he argued. Three other lawyers who represent multiple clients made similar arguments. But Baxter denied all requests to reconsider his decision, saying all of the educators face a conspiracy charge implicating them in a coordinated scheme."
"Law firm hired to probe Rutgers basketball scandal quietly resigns over conflict" --
  • "Nearly three weeks after Rutgers University hired a high-profile law firm to conduct an independent review of its basketball coaching scandal, the school named a new firm to the job today after the original investigators quietly resigned — citing a previously undisclosed conflict of interest."
  • "The firm of Cahill Gordon & Reindel stepped aside Friday after it discovered a link to Connell Foley, the Roseland law firm Rutgers hired last fall to investigate claims basketball coach Mike Rice had physically and verbally abused players. Rutgers officials previously said Connell Foley gave them faulty advice."
  • "'We discovered after the announcement of the engagement that the Connell Foley firm, which represented Cahill as local counsel in litigation in New Jersey, is the same firm that issued a report to Rutgers about the coach Rice allegations,' said Cahill Gordon spokeswoman Lynn Tellefsen."

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