Monday, February 9, 2015

>Seriously< Swift and Speedy Screening Seems Suitable

From the excellent Lawyer Disqualification Blog comes: "A Timely Reminder of the Importance of Timely Screening" [Signature MD, Inc. v. MDVIP, Inc. (C.D. Cal. Jan. 20, 2015).] --
  • "Duane Morris was recently reminded of the importance of erecting screens in a timely fashion.  From 2008 to 2012, Lawyers in Duane Morris’s Philadelphia office represented MDVIP, reportedly the largest medical concierge membership program."
  • "Then last year, Duane Morris, on behalf of another medical concierge service, brought suit against 'MDVIP for antitrust violations contending MDVIP has abused its dominance in the relevant markets by utilizing anti-competitive tactics and entering into anti-competitive agreements intended to unlawfully maintain and expand MDVIP’s monopolies and to preclude . . . others from competing against it.'  The court found that these two matters were 'substantially related'"
  • "Having recognized the former client conflict, the court then examined “whether the implementation of an ethical screen would be sufficient... The court was able to duck the ultimate question (namely, whether to bless the practice of screening as sufficient to avoid disqualification) because the firm had failed the “timeliness element in implementing an ethical screen..."
  • "The court concluded that the firm had instead implemented the screen 'two days after the [Duane] Morris firm was retained by' its current client.  Although the court acknowledged that a two-day lapse was 'very short,' the court nevertheless disqualified the firm."
Two days. Is your firm ready and able to meet that standard? (Some can...)

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