Friday, December 5, 2014

Concerning Conflicts that Can Cost (Continued)

"Million-dollar Lawsuit Rips Winstead Advice in NCPA Sex Scandal" --
  • "In recent months, the National Center for Policy Analysis has worked hard to put a sex scandal involving its founder behind it... Now, however, the Dallas-based NCPA has filed a lawsuit against a prominent law firm and the firm’s chairman emeritus that revisits the sex scandal in detail. Among other things, the suit asserts that l’affaire Goodman caused the nonprofit organization to lose at least $2 million in fundraising—and nearly put it out of business."
  • "In late November 2012, the suit alleges, when Winstead finally recognized that it had a conflict of interest in representing both Goodman and the NCPA, its general counsel, Don Campbell, decided that the firm could not represent both of them. His decision was conveyed to Goodman, the suit says, and Baggett then referred a proposed employment agreement and Goodman’s personal “release” document to a former Winstead partner to 'close the deal.'"
  • "Flash-forward, then, to this past February, when Collins again complained that Goodman had sexually harassed her, the suit says, and Goodman again contacted Baggett to secure legal representation. Baggett agreed, telling Walker again in a voicemail message that Winstead could represent both Goodman and the NCPA without a conflict, and that it wasn’t necessary to inform the board about it, the suit says. Over the next two months, it continues, Winstead charged the NCPA nearly $31,000 for working on Collins’ 2014 sexual harassment claim."
And an interesting story from down under: "Global law firms favoured by head office but often fall short " -- [try via google if the direct link doesn't work] --
  • "General counsel at large multinational companies in Australia are under pressure from their foreign head offices to send their legal work to 'big name' global law firms instead of to leading Australian firms, a report by legal search firm Mahlab finds."
  • "However, some global law firms that have opened their doors in Australia are falling short by failing to familiarise themselves with key multinational clients or to communicate with their cross-border colleagues."
  • "Conflicts also emerged as a key difficulty for the major international law firms. Some general counsel said when they had tried to offer work to global firms in Australia, it was refused on the basis of a conflict — with partners unaware their company was an important international client. In some instances, the report says, global firms even acted against their multinational client."

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