Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Big Conflicts Case Continues to Make Big News

This one heated up in December, but is still worth noting, as we wait for the next update:

"Why This California Case Is Driving a Wedge Between Law Firms and Clients" --
  • "Dozens of major law firms are lining up against their corporate clients in an awkward faceoff at the California Supreme Court that lays bare the increasing tension between companies' expectations of loyalty and Big Law's economic incentives to take on more and more business."
  • "In papers filed last week [Dec 16], more than 50 law firms including Arnold & Porter, Latham & Watkins, Sidley Austin and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati urged the state high court to adopt a ruling that would allow them to represent clients with opposing interests, though not in the same matter, through the use of broad conflict waivers—and ensure they still get paid."
  • "That notion rankles in-house lawyers who say their interests are being stepped on to boost law firm profits. In briefs opposing the law firms, the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and an unusual alliance of corporations including the paper giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. and networking hardware maker Netgear Inc. argue that conflicts must be disclosed and that companies must not be left to foot legal bills if the firms they hire are secretly playing dual roles."
  • "Such public discord between law firms and their clients is atypical, to say the least. While spats over legal fees erupt from time to time, rarely do law firms and corporations stake out opposing positions at a venue as significant as the California Supreme Court."
"ACC Joins $3.8M Fight Over Sheppard Mullin Conflict Waiver" --
  • "The Association of Corporate Counsel has joined a host of companies in their support of J-M Manufacturing as it opposes Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP’s appeal of a $3.8 million fee forfeiture order at the California Supreme Court, agreeing that the firm’s “open-ended” advance conflict waiver should remain invalid."
  • "General counsel from 10 companies, including Kimberly-Clark Corp., Newegg Inc., Herbalife International and NetGear Inc., have also urged the court to reject Sheppard Mullin’s attempt to overturn the order, saying in a joint amicus brief the firm’s “boilerplate” advance conflict waiver was rightly rejected."

No comments:

Post a Comment