Thursday, November 10, 2016

Your Brother's Keeper? (Disqualification News and Views)



Lending itself to any number of colorful comments and quotes, come: "Atty Beats DQ Bid In Case Involving Brother At Fox Rothschild" --
  • "A Pennsylvania judge on Friday shot down efforts to disqualify an attorney from defending a travel agency previously represented by his brother, a Fox Rothschild LLP attorney also accused in the suit of filing a meritless bankruptcy petition, noting that the clients have waived a cited potential conflict of interest."
  • "In his order, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Ramy I. Djerassi denied a motion filed by solo practitioner Bruce J. Chasan, the owner of travel agency Carmen Enterprises Inc., to disqualify attorney Jeffrey Goldin from representing Murpenter LLC and two affiliated individual defendants."
  • "Chasan had argued that Goldin should not be permitted to represent the Murpenter defendants because his brother, Fox Rothshchild attorney Ely Goldin, had previously represented Murpenter in an underlying breach of contract suit over an aborted merger and is now named as a defendant in the instant litigation, alleging wrongful use of civil proceedings."
  • "But Goldin’s clients have stated that they are aware of the family relationship and the potential risk it could pose, and still choose to retain Goldin as their lawyer, Judge Djerassi said. 'Based on this informed consent and attorney Jeffrey Goldin’s own written and verified responses here, we believe his sworn promise that he will devote paramount loyalty to his client,' the judge said. 'We believe he will preserve all necessary confidentialities from his brother and represent his client zealously.'"
  • "In addition to seeking to remove counsel for Murpenter, the plaintiffs have also asked the court to disqualify Bochetto & Lentz and its attorneys George Bochetto and John O’Connell from representing Fox Rothschild because the firm’s other name attorney, Gavin Lentz, represented Chasan and his company in a breach of contract suit against his ex-wife in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, nearly 20 years ago."
And: "Baker Donelson Fights DQ In Amazon Shipping Tussle" --
  • "Western Express Inc. argued in October that Phoenix counsel John Hicks and Jaime DeRensis of Baker Donelson’s Nashville office cannot continue on the case over allegedly unpaid invoices because the firm is actually counsel of record in currently stayed litigation launched in 2011 by the Amazon.com Inc. freighter. But the attorneys said Friday that it is only former counsel and there simply is no conflict since it informed Western of its Phoenix work several months ago."
  • "'While Western made vague statements that Baker Donelson's representation may present a conflict and prevent Western from using Baker Donelson as counsel in the future, it did not allege any specific conflict until almost eight months into Baker Donelson's representation of Phoenix,' the attorneys said in their opposition. 'There is no conflict of interest; even assuming a conflict of interest, Western's failure to timely assert such conflict waives any alleged conflict.'"
  • "As for the matter Baker Donelson formerly represented in, Hicks and DeRensis said that case, involving Western’s claims of embezzlement by a former employee, is not “substantially related” to the instant breach of contract matter, leaving no reason at all for disqualification under Tennessee conduct rules."
  • See the filing for more detail.

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