Risk Update

Conflicts Allegation — Lateral Lawyer, Engagement Letter & Malpractice Claim

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Atty Says Suit Over VidAngel’s $62M Trial Loss Is Barred” —

  • “David Quinto, who co-founded Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP in 1986 and began working with VidAngel in 2014, the same year he left the law firm, wants the court to dismiss trustee George Hofmann’s legal malpractice suit against him, saying the suit is barred by an arbitration provision in his VidAngel contract.”
  • “Hofmann claims that an opinion letter provided by Quinto in 2015 played a key role in how the company operated. But Quinto, who left Quinn Emanuel to form new firm Kupferstein Manuel Quinto LLP and later became VidAngel’s general counsel, said Tuesday that his 2014 engagement letter with VidAngel clearly said disputes would be resolved by arbitration under California law, he told the court.”
  • “‘It is for good reason that [the trustee] chose not to attach a copy of the 2014 engagement letter to his complaint, or even allege its terms. The 2014 engagement letter prohibited him from bringing this action,’ Quinto wrote.”
  • “The letter ‘addressed the possibility that disputes might later arise between the parties and provided that ‘any claim for breach of contract, professional negligence or breach of a fiduciary duty,’ or any other claim arising out of KMQ’s representation of VidAngel or provision of legal services to VidAngel, would be resolved confidentially and exclusively under JAMS arbitration rules,’ Quinto said.”
  • “Quinto left KMQ in August 2015 to go to Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, he said. When that firm had a conflict, Quinto had to drop VidAngel as a client, he said. But when VidAngel was sued by the studios, it asked Quinto to become its general counsel, and he joined in July 2016, he said.”
Risk Update

Today’s a Good Day for Risk — Ice Cube v Quinn Conflicts Accusations & Spy Allegations

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Ice Cube’s Big3 Sues Quinn Emanuel Over Alleged Qatar Conflicts; Firm Says Client Just Doesn’t Want to Pay” —

  • “The Big3, a three-on-three basketball league featuring former NBA stars and co-owned by rapper and actor Ice Cube, is suing Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan for allegedly putting its lucrative relationship with the Republic of Qatar ahead of its far-less remunerative arrangement with the fledgling sports project.”
  • “In a state court complaint filed in Manhattan on Thursday, Big3 contends that Quinn Emanuel inserted itself into litigation between the league and former commissioner Roger Mason, whom the league believed had aligned himself with Qatari agents seeking to gain control of the asset.”
  • “Attorneys with Beys Liston & Mobargha in New York and Freedman + Taitelman in Los Angeles wrote that the law firm ignored “inescapable” conflicts of interest when offering to represent the league in a lawsuit brought by Mason, and used its involvement to shift the defense strategy away from a focus on Qatar’s conduct.”
  • “‘Any rational person would question why a law firm would undertake the representation of a fledgling basketball league that might generate a few hundred thousand dollars in fees when the league was adverse to its existing Qatari clients who generate tens of millions of dollars in fees annually,’ the league said in its complaint. ‘The only logical answer is that Qatar wanted Quinn to undertake the representation… In effect, Quinn would become a spy for Qatar, a nation known for supporting terrorism and aligned with Iran,’ the complaint asserts.”
  • “Quinn Emanuel aimed to recast the matter as a simple fee dispute. ‘No firm fights harder for its clients than Quinn Emanuel, and we fought hard for Big3. Unfortunately, Big3 doesn’t want to pay us for the work we did,’ the firm said in a statement. ‘After the firm pursued them to collect fees, Big3 waited until a week before the collection arbitration to file this fantasy-laden lawsuit. Big3 was fully advised about the firm’s other various representations and is simply trying to avoid paying its bills.’

More also via Above the Law: “Quinn Emanuel Law Firm Accused Of Serving As A Spy For Qatar