Monday, March 27, 2017

More Detail on Conflicts-driven Departures

"Breakaway Lawyers From Kasowitz Firm Point to Conflicts Dispute" --
  • "A group of lawyers known for celebrity divorces surprised the legal industry last spring when they announced they would leave the New York law firm led by Marc E. Kasowitz, a longtime lawyer for President Trump, after two decades at the firm. Now, the lawyers say their departure resulted from an internal dispute over conflicts of interest."
  • "They point to a ruling this month that disqualified the firm, Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman, from representing an opponent of the Georgetown Company in a $35 million real estate dispute because the law firm already represented one of Georgetown’s principals, Joseph B. Rose, in a divorce case."
  • "Ms. Alter’s practice was one of the few such family practices at a large law firm, where conflicts can occur between the business dealings and the private lives of the wealthy. Typically, a memo is circulated among all the partners of a firm to ensure there are no conflicts in taking on a new case. But, according to the legal papers, that was not done in Mr. Rose’s case, even though he had been a client for some time."
  • "The position of the Kasowitz firm, according to legal documents, was that there was no conflict between representing Mr. Rose’s personal dealings and representing his adversary in the legal dispute over a fee for development rights for a property in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood."
  • "In the ruling this month detailing the disqualification efforts on both sides, Justice O. Peter Sherwood of the New York State Supreme Court sided with Mr. Rose, noting that his Kasowitz lawyers had 'been privy to Rose’s personal and financial information, including information about Georgetown and the fees at issue in this litigation.'"

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