Thursday, September 15, 2016

Disqualification Discussions, Part Deux

  • "A California judge rejected Friday [Aug 19] a former SpaceX welder’s bid to disqualify Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP from defending the aerospace company in her sexual harassment suit, saying there’s no evidence the firm did anything wrong in contacting the plaintiff's expert about working in another case."
  • "Before Friday's hearing began, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael P. Linfield issued a written tentative ruling indicating he would deny plaintiff Zhoei M. Teasley's motion to recuse Space Exploration Technologies Corp.'s lead trial counsel, Orrick partner Lynne Hermle, because the firm had contacted Teasley's expert, Michael Robbins, about potentially working on a case in the future. Judge Linfield wrote that no case law presented by either side stands for the proposition that “any communication” between a party's expert and their opponent, in itself, is enough to warrant recusal."
  • "Parks [opposing counsel] said that Robbins was in discussions with Orrick about consulting on upcoming matters, and that even if he hadn't been formally retained in those cases yet, it still created a problematic relationship — one that Orrick had refused to divulge the details of."
  • "Judge Linfield said the fact that Orrick might have reached out to the expert previously about the potential of hiring him in the future simply wasn't enough evidence to show there was a relationship between them. The judge said that if Robbins had told Parks that he'd spoken to Orrick about the instant suit, it would be 'a totally different situation,' but that there wasn't any evidence of that, 'and that lack of evidence is telling to the court.'"
  • "Live Face on Web LLC urged a Pennsylvania federal judge Thursday to sanction and disqualify Venable LLP from representing the digital marketing company it is suing over a video software licensing agreement, saying the firm previously promised not to represent any party in the case."
  • "LFOW told U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner that Venable is representing The Control Group Media Co. Inc. only because it has firsthand knowledge of LFOW’s copyright litigation practices. LFOW said Venable acknowledged a conflict of interest in a related matter in 2014 and at that time promised not to provide counsel to either side."
  • "'Venable expressly concluded a conflict existed that barred the representation of any party in this case in 2014, but has now entered this case just in time to share LFOW’s settlement strategies and privileged information with defendants at mediation.'"
  • "In its motion, LFOW said a Venable partner responded to its original letter in 2014 informing Control Group of copyright infringement. However, at the same time, Venable represented LFOW in two similar cases. Venable decided to sever ties with LFOW, Control Group and Instant Checkmate, indicating it would not represent or give legal advice to either party, LFOW said."

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