Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Law Firm Conflicts, Continued

"Ex-Dewey Lawyer's Move Adds Wrench to Firm's Bankruptcy" --
  • "The announcement earlier this week that onetime Dewey & LeBoeuf partner Stephen Best had moved from Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck to Brown Rudnick has prompted a barbed email exchange between two lawyers representing clients with competing interests in now-defunct Dewey's bankruptcy proceeding."
  • "Bassen contends that Brown Rudnick should be immediately disqualified from representing Dewey liquidation trustee Alan Jacobs in a settlement that affects his clients because Best, before working at Brown Rudnick, consulted with DiCarmine and Sanders on the issues now in question."
  • "Jacobs and Brown Rudnick are pushing for court approval of a settlement reached by former chair Steven Davis, XL Specialty Insurance, and the bankruptcy estate that would see XL chip in $19 million to resolve mismanagement claims."
  • "As Bassen explains in his letter, which is addressed to U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn, DiCarmine and Sanders consulted with Best "for several hours" in 2012 during a daylong meeting and in several separate conversations "regarding their employment at Dewey and the facts and circumstances that led to the firm winding up in this Court." According to Bassen, the conversations included "their defenses to and strategies regarding potential claims, including mismanagement claims" as well as potential claims not covered by XL and other insurers."
  • "Brown Rudnick partner Edward Weisfelner explains in a three-page email that Bassen attached to his letter to Glenn why he believes there is "zero basis for disqualification here." Weisfelner says in the message that Best and Brown Rudnick created a complete ethical wall to prevent Best from seeing any Dewey-related documents and which prohibits lawyers working on the case from talking to him—and that the proposed settlement was filed with the court before Best even joined the firm."
  • "Weisfelner also lashes out at Bassen in the email for what he says are a series of delay tactics the Hughes Hubbard lawyer has used to prevent the XL settlement from getting court approval. Despite the opposition to Bassen's claims, Brown Rudnick did agree to delay depositions of Bassen's clients that were scheduled to take place Thursday, according to the court filing."

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