Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Conflicts in the Public Eye

Another story of conflicts allegation making mainstream news: "WTFV apologizes for conflict of interest; forgets they reported on it Sept. 2" --
  • "Consider it yet one more cautionary tale for the modern media age. Or just another dumb move by people who should know better. WTFV/Channel 9 in Orlando seemed to score a coup with the addition of Belvin Perry Jr., former Chief Judge in Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit, as a legal commentator.'
  • "Perry even took the chance to weigh in on-air about one of Florida’s hottest issues, Amendment 2, the constitutional referendum on the ballot in November to legalize medical marijuana. On Monday, he took apart a No on 2 commercial, providing sharp criticism by claiming opponents created a “smoke screen” that only plays on viewer’s fears."
  • "WTFV — Orlando’s ABC affiliate — left out one small detail: Perry, upon his retirement, immediately took a position at behemoth law firm Morgan & Morgan. For those cave dwellers out there who might not be aware, Morgan & Morgan is the eponymous firm led by Orlando attorney John Morgan, known as the face (and checkbook) of the organization spearheading Amendment 2."
  • "One word about preparation — WFTV said nothing about Perry’s association with Morgan – something that anyone with a computer could easily find out. Of course, the station backtracked on Tuesday, acknowledging its error and apologizing for not mentioning the relationship... WFTV’s own website reported on Perry’s retirement and subsequent hiring by Morgan – on Sept. 2. Ooops."
And from BNA comes analysis of a recent Texas (the not-to-be-messed-with home of the "Don't call me officer, chief" title rules) : "Firm Must Leave Case if New Associate Worked on Other Side While in Law School" --
  • "A law firm must stop representing a litigation client if it hires a lawyer who formerly worked on the case as a law clerk at the firm representing the opposing party, the Texas bar's ethics committee advised in August."
  • "Screening the tainted lawyer to prevent the sharing of any confidential information he learned in his prior employment won't enable the firm to continue representing the client, according to the opinion."

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