Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Disqualification News: Lawyer Facing His Former Firm

The New York Law Journal notes: "Lawyer Disqualified From Suit Against His Former Firm" --
  • "A Long Island attorney cannot represent plaintiffs in a lawsuit against his former law firm because he was working there when the plaintiffs opted out of a class action settlement against the firm, Eastern District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled." 
  • "In August 2014, eight months after his employment as managing attorney at the firm was terminated, Pashkin filed suit against Cohen & Slamowitz on behalf of two plaintiffs who rejected the class settlement and one who asserted a claim similar to those argued in the class action case."
  • "The firm moved to disqualify Pashkin in Liew v. Cohen & Slamowitz, 14-CV-4868, saying he had participated in critically important confidential discussions between the firm and its insurance counsel. Those discussions involved the firm's ability to pay a judgment in the class action, efforts to define the class as broadly as possible to forestall subsequent litigants with similar claims, and general strategy the firm employed in responding to such claims."
  • "But Matsumoto held Tuesday that "Mr. Pashkin's insistence that his tasks in the [class action] matter were rather circumscribed is misplaced, because the operative question is whether he likely had access to relevant confidential information... The judge said the undisputed facts were sufficient to grant the disqualification motion, because mere access to the confidential information was an adequate reason."
See: Liew v. Cohen & Slamowitz, 14-CV-4868.

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