Wednesday, February 26, 2014

In the News: Conflicts Allegations & Confidentiality

From New Jersey Public Television: Conflict of Interest Concerns Surface with Port Authority
  • "At today’s special meeting of the NJ Transit board, there was no mention of the controversial deal with the Port Authority that gave NJ Transit a $1 a year lease on a Port Authority-owned Park & Ride in North Bergen. The 2012 vote would have gone unnoticed except that Port Authority Board Chairman David Samson voted for the deal, while NJ Transit was a client of his law firm Wolff & Samson. It’s the latest example of what some are calling an unchecked abuse of power."
  • "You can take your pick of potential Samson conflicts: There’s the $1.5 million his firm collected from NJ Transit for helping broker the parking lot deal. Or the $250 million makeover of the Harrison PATH station that potentially benefits a real estate developer represented by Samson’s firm. Or several other instances. Samson, though, is about to get a long hard look from the legislatures Select Committee on Investigation."
  • "A review by the Star-Ledger found that Wolff & Samson made more than $8 million from contracts with the state and other authorities, not to mention another million a year in lobbying business. It’s a lot of money that the former attorney general will now have to weigh against the cost all this scrutiny is having to his reputation."

  • "Sometimes, mistakes happen. That was the gist of an opinion handed down this week by a federal magistrate judge who showed leniency toward Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP for an evidence leak that allowed its client, Samsung Electronics Co., to get hold of a copy of a confidential license agreement between two rivals, Apple Inc. and Nokia Corp."
  • "Though sparing the law firm of harsher sanctions, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal gave them a scolding. He ordered Quinn Emanuel to reimburse Apple and Nokia  for legal costs associated with the leak. And he instructed Samsung to put in place safeguards to make sure it doesn’t happen again."
  • "The quick back story: In March of 2012, several months before the start of a high-profile patent jury trial between Apple and Samsung, Quinn Emanuel distributed a report to Samsung that included a confidential license agreement between Apple and Nokia. Quinn Emanuel acquired the document, written by a Samsung licensing expert, through the normal discovery process."
  • "Judge Grewal didn’t let Samsung off the hook completely. He chastised Samsung and its outside counsel for setting up what he saw as a sloppy system to manage the flow of highly confidential information in a such complex case. The lack of oversight, he said, warranted at least some redress."

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