Risk Update

Disqualification Battles — Pharma Patent DQ Denied, R Kelly Counsel Clash

Posted on

Novartis’ DQ Bid Sinks In Gilenya Row”

  • “A federal judge in Delaware has rejected a legal effort to prevent a Washington, D.C., patent lawyer from representing an Indian pharmaceutical company in a patent fight with Novartis over the blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya.”
  • “The latest word from the Delaware court came Tuesday in Novartis’ bid to disqualify Chidambaram Iyer of Sughrue Mion PLLC from representing Shilpa Pharma Inc., the Pennsylvania arm of a generic drugmaker based in Raichur, India. Shilpa sued Novartis last year, alleging that an active ingredient in the drug the Swiss giant has been approved to sell since 2010 did some of the same things that are described in the language of a patent that Shilpa landed from the U.S. Patent and Trademark office six years later.”
  • “The same year Shilpa had secured the patent — in late 2016 — representatives from Shilpa tried to convince Novartis to license the patent but were rebuffed. Since last November, Novartis’ lawyers have been trying to prevent Sughrue Mion’s Iyer from representing Shilpa in the case because Shilpa identified him ‘as the only named Shilpa witness to several 2016 discussions with Novartis about licensing the patent.'”
  • “Earlier this month, Robinson came down on the side of Shilpa’s lawyers. She wrote that Iyer’s “personal knowledge is not a basis for the allegations of willful and induced infringement. ‘There is no evidence that Mr. Iyer would so testify,’ she added in her 7-page report.”

As R. Kelly’s Chicago trial nears, things get testy between defendants” —

  • “With less than two months to go until ex-R&B superstar R. Kelly and two of his former associates go on trial in Chicago, the sparks are starting to fly.”
  • “On Wednesday, lawyers for former Kelly manager Derrel McDavid blasted claims by the singer’s attorney that there may be a conflict of interest with McDavid’s legal team as ‘either woefully uninformed or purposely mendacious.'”
  • “The response also criticized Kelly’s lawyer, Jennifer Bonjean, for what they called a ‘disingenuous’ attempt to link one of McDavid’s current attorneys, Vadim Glozman, to famed Chicago defense attorney Edward Genson, who represented Kelly in his child pornography trial in Cook County in 2008 that ended with an acquittal.”
  • “Glozman worked for Genson’s law practice from 2012 to 2017, when it was closed due to Genson’s failing health. Genson died of cancer in 2020.”
  • “Bonjean also pointed to an interview Genson gave to a Chicago Sun-Times columnist in 2019, when he was in the advanced stages of terminal cancer, in which Genson said Kelly was ‘guilty as hell’ and that he’d helped keep the singer out of trouble for a decade after his acquittal.”
  • “‘Because Glozman arguably owes a duty of loyalty to Kelly because he was a member of the firm that represented Kelly, he is in a conflicted position,’ Bonjean wrote. ‘This potential conflict may be an actual conflict if Glozman possesses privileged information that he may or can use to the benefit of his client or to the detriment of Mr. Kelly at a joint trial.'”
  • “In response, McDavid’s legal team called that assertion ‘disingenuous, insulting, and perhaps worse: pointless.'”
  • “The Sun-Times column, their motion said, omitted that a heavily medicated Genson was ‘rushed to the hospital shortly after the interview took place and that the interviewer only entered Mr. Genson’s home through false pretenses.'”
  • “In an emailed statement Wednesday, Sun-Times interim Editor-in-Chief Steve Warmbir said the newspaper ‘completely stands by its 2019 interview of Ed Genson… The columnist did nothing remotely improper regarding the interview of Mr. Genson, who was quite lucid at the time,’ Warmbir said.”
jobs

BRB Risk Jobs Board — Conflicts Staff Attorney

Posted on

I was pleased to receive word from the team at Cooley, who are following up the previous post announcing their NBI/Conflicts Analyst role with another job opening announcement: “Conflicts Staff Attorney.” Key details on this additional position:

Location: New York, Los Angeles Palo Alto, Washington DC, Boston, San Francisco, or San Diego

The business intake and conflicts function is essential to the firm’s:

  • (1) compliance with (a) ethical obligations prevailing in jurisdictions in which the firm maintains offices and in which it practices and (b) the firm’s Risk Management policies and procedures
  • (2) avoidance of malpractice claims and ethical violations
  • and (3) ability to onboard new business, in the form of new clients and new matters for existing clients, new timekeepers and new employees in a timely fashion.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Working closely with the Director of Business Intake and Conflicts, the Conflicts Staff Attorney will be responsible for assuring compliance with applicable Rules of Professional Conduct and assisting and managing other loss prevention functions.”
  • The Conflicts Staff Attorney is a staff attorney who understands the rules that govern legal practice and can perform practical processes to ensure compliance with those rules. The Conflicts Staff Attorney does not practice law for any client other than the firm and maintains professionalism and strict confidentiality in all client and firm matters.”
  • Maintains up-to-date knowledge of the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct as adopted in each state in which the firm maintains an office, and jurisdictional differences in all states, countries and practice areas in which the firm conducts business
  • Monitors ABA and jurisdictional rules for changes. Suggests modifications in firm policy to the Director of BIC for approval
    Analyze and resolve conflicts of interest related to new business and new hires
  • Effectively work with Managers, Directors, Conflict Analysts and firm attorneys to obtain the relevant information to make determinations on conflict issues
  • Draft and review ethical screens, conflict waivers and risk management engagement letter provisions
  • Review and analyze client-imposed engagement letters and outside counsel guidelines to which the firm is asked to agree by clients and prospective clients
  • Conduct research projects as assigned relating to conflicts of interest issues
  • Conduct advanced level research projects on corporate affiliations and corporate relatedness

See the complete job posting for more detail on job and to apply

Learn more about working at Cooley (Seven-Time Fortune Best Company to Work For) on their careers page:

  • “Working at Cooley provides an opportunity to work in an environment of collaboration, challenge and reward. We are all part of one firm dedicated to maintaining a diverse workplace that values and celebrates differences—from the way we relate to and support each other, to the way we work together to meet the needs of our clients. It is the unique abilities and perspectives of every individual at Cooley that creates a rewarding workplace.”
  • “For Cooley, this means offering all employees the tools, training and mentoring they need to succeed. It enables every individual to balance work and family obligations. It looks beyond the Firm’s four walls, fostering community involvement. It includes becoming leaders and contributors in our communities.”

 

And if you’re interested in seeing your firm’s listings here, please feel free to reach out

Risk Update

Risk Roundup — Disqualification Denied, Indigenous Client Conflicts Concerns, Client Disclosure Ethics Opinion

Posted on

Judge Tosses BofA Bias Suit And Bid To DQ McGuireWoods” —

  • “A Georgia federal judge on Monday permanently dismissed a discrimination suit filed against Bank of America stemming from a foreclosure case and rejected the plaintiff’s bid to oust the bank’s attorneys at McGuireWoods LLP from the case, finding there is no basis for disqualification.”
  • “Judge William M. Ray II of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia said in an order that plaintiff Keith Thomas’ argument that McGuireWoods and the law firm Rubin Lublin should be disqualified because they were also defendants in the case did not pass muster, noting that it did not appear that the relevant Rule of Professional Conduct applies to entire law firms.”
  • “‘In addition, it does not appear Rule 3.7 applies at this stage of the case,’ Judge Ray said of the relevant rule. ‘The rule states only that a lawyer may ‘not act as advocate at a trial in which the lawyer is likely to be a necessary witness’ … but this case has not progressed to a trial.'”
  • “Thomas, who is representing himself, initiated the case in August, arguing that McGuireWoods helped Northstar Mortgage Group LLC, mortgage database company Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. and Bank of America engage in mail fraud and in violating the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and various federal regulations.”
  • “Judge Ray further found that Thomas didn’t show that either law firm or any of their lawyers are likely to be a necessary witness. And the court rejected Thomas’ argument that McGuireWoods should be disqualified for allegedly engaging in fraudulent activity that it didn’t disclose to the court, saying Thomas ‘wholly fails to cite any evidence that McGuireWoods in fact knew about any supposed fraudulent activity,’ as required by Rule of Professional Conduct 3.3.”

The financial arrangements between lawyers and Indigenous clients” —

  • “Recent decades have seen an explosion of Indigenous case law in Canada, with precedent-setting decisions like R v. Sparrow and Delgamuukw v. British Columbia vastly increasing activity in what used to be a specialized field.”
  • “More cases mean more opportunities for conflict between lawyers and their clients over financial arrangements. The past few decades also have seen a significant number of those conflicts make their way to court — disputes over hourly fees, retainers and contingency fees, arguments over who has the right to act for a particular First Nation.”
  • “Some professionals in the Indigenous law field say those conflicts are the result of a power imbalance between Indigenous communities and the lawyers they hire. They’re calling for reforms to the model code of conduct to protect Indigenous clients from bad actors in the legal profession.”
  • “Lafond said the IBA [Indigenous Bar Association] is partnering with the Federation of Law Societies of Canada to review and modify the model code to protect Indigenous clients — starting with changes to the way contingency agreements work.”
  • “Contingency fee agreements can get cases off the ground for cash-poor clients, but unless their lawyers are transparent about the work’s nature, they can lead to unfair outcomes.”
  • “University of Windsor law professor Noel Semple says one sensible way to protect vulnerable clients is to develop standards for time-based billing, a practice he said is largely unregulated in Canada.”
  • “‘And there are ways retainer agreements themselves can be structured to prevent a First Nation from retaining another law firm to examine the fees charged by another,’ said Lafond. ‘In some cases, these retainer agreements prevent the client from hiring another firm until the original firm has been made whole on the bill it sent the client.'”

D.C. Opines On Disclosure Issues” —

  • “In April 2022, the Legal Ethics Committee issued Opinion 383 finding that, absent informed consent, a lawyer generally may not disclose to a client or prospective client information about another client or prospective client that is a protected secret or confidence under Rules 1.6 or 1.18. Such protected information often includes (1) the identity of another client or prospective client and (2) the nature of the other person’s matter.”
  • “LEO 383 cautions that even requesting or agreeing to a commitment to make such disclosures pursuant to an outside counsel agreement or otherwise may constitute a prohibited attempt or inducement to another to violate the Rules. The opinion also concludes that Rules 1.7(d) and 1.16 — and not an advance agreement between one client and outside counsel — govern whether a lawyer must or may withdraw from her representation of another client if a ‘midstream’ conflict arises. Finally, a lawyer may not permit a client to access the lawyer’s records if such access might disclose confidences or secrets of other clients. Read the full opinion here.”
Risk Update

Judicial Conflicts of Interest — Judge Stock Ownership Rule Ripples

Posted on

Lawyers Urge 2nd Circuit to Vacate Decision by Judge Who Owned Exxon Stock During Litigation” —

  • “Lawyers for an insurer Tuesday urged a Second Circuit panel to abandon a ruling by a Manhattan federal district judge, arguing it was wrong on the merits but also clouded by his ownership of stock in Exxon.”
  • “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard oral arguments in a $31 million case pitting ExxonMobil Oil against TIG Insurance.”
  • “TIG attorney Daniel Sullivan, a partner at Holwell Shuster & Goldberg, said the failure of U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos of the Southern District of New York to disclose his stock ownership was the very first example cited in a 2021 Wall Street Journal investigation that reported that 131 federal judges had heard cases involving a party in which they or their family members owned stock, a violation of federal law.”
  • “Ramos attributed the failure to disclose to a problem with the court’s conflict-screening software, the Journal reported at the time. Federal legislation to toughen judges’ financial disclosure requirements recently passed both houses of Congress.”

Conflict Claim Can’t Sink $2.75B Cisco Loss, Centripetal Says” —

  • “Centripetal Networks has told an appeals court that tossing out a $2.75 billion patent judgement in its favor against Cisco Systems Inc. because a district judge’s wife owned Cisco stock would prove “unjust,” robbing the company of a “David-versus-Goliath” win despite that jurist having no obvious bias. “
  • “Centripetal and Cisco on Friday filed another round of competing briefs over why Virginia Federal Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr.’s failure to recuse himself from the case after learning that his wife owned 100 shares of Cisco stock should or shouldn’t result in tossing out the decision and starting the case over with a new judge.”
  • “Near the end of the initial trial, on Oct. 17, 2019, Judge Morgan discovered that his wife had purchased a handful of shares of Cisco stock. Before he found out, the judge said he had already decided ‘virtually every issue’ on the case, and ultimately decided to disclose the financial interest but stay on the case. He put the stock in a ‘blind trust’ as a way of remedying the potential conflict.”
  • “Cisco argues this blatantly breaks the federal disqualification statute, and if the Federal circuit does not vacate Judge Morgan’s judgment, it ‘would seriously undermine public confidence in the judiciary.”‘ Centripetal, on the other hand, argues that the injustice the smaller company would suffer in having to re-litigate the case would be far greater than the injustice of the judge’s minor financial conflict.”
  • “The company could face prejudice if the case were to be litigated because evidence will have gone stale and witness’ memories could be lost, the company said. Therefore, the court should practice discretion, as it has in the past, and determine that the small financial conflict created no bias in the case, Centripetal said.”
  • “Cisco also attacked argument that Judge Morgan had already decided the case before learning of his wife’s stocks, pointing out that Judge Morgan had issued a lengthy opinion on merits of the case, entered judgment on the case, and written a 49-page opinion denying Cisco’s post-judgement motions all after he had learned of the financial conflict.”
Risk Update

Conflicts News — Consulting Conflict Concern (McKinsey, Again), Texas Housing Agency Board/Law Firm Concerns

Posted on

Texas housing agency board member voted for deals that paid his law firm” —

  • “At one of his first meetings as a member of a state housing board, Dallas attorney Paul Braden voted to approve renovations on a low-income apartment complex in a small town southeast of Houston. When the project was finalized, his law firm earned $70,000 for doing legal work on the deal.”
  • “Over the next three years, Braden voted to approve another dozen housing proposals that earned Norton Rose Fulbright more than $2 million, The Dallas Morning News found.”
  • “Braden did not report that his firm held a contract to do the work as a conflict of interest, records and video archives reviewed by The News show. State law requires board members with a personal interest in any agency matter to publicly disclose it and abstain from voting.”
  • “The firm said Braden had received assurances from the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs that no conflict existed. ‘We are confident that Paul Braden complied with all legal and ethical duties while serving on the TDHCA board,’ the firm said in a statement.”
  • “Two days after The News asked Braden about the fees, he stepped down from the board ‘to avoid even an appearance of a conflict,’ the firm said. In an April 28 resignation letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, Braden wrote that “certain professional matters” made it challenging for him to continue on the board. Braden declined requests for an interview.”
  • “Housing agency spokeswoman Kristina Tirloni said the agency did not believe Braden had a conflict because he was doing legal work for a nonprofit that helped finance the deals, not for developers who submit applications to the housing agency.”
    “Braden’s requirement to disclose his firm’s role is clear, said Andrew Cates, an Austin attorney who specializes in Texas ethics law. ‘He has a business interest in the votes that he’s taking,” Cates said. “And that should have been disclosed.'”
    “”

McKinsey Faces Conflict Disclosure Deadline in Puerto Rico Work” —

  • “McKinsey & Co. is in the spotlight as the consulting giant faces a deadline to disclose potential conflicts of interest in advising Puerto Rico‘s $120 billion restructuring.”
  • “A new law signed by President Biden on Jan. 20—the Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy in Disclosures Act (PRRADA) —requires certain key professionals who worked on the island’s bankruptcy-like case to disclose if they have any previously hidden investments or business connections that could be considered a conflict of interest.”
  • “McKinsey, a market leader in bankruptcy consulting, in particular faces scrutiny as one of the case’s top billers with over $100 million in fees. Revelations that a McKinsey subsidiary held millions in Puerto Rico bonds provided the impetus to Congress’ push to enact PRRADA—a process in which McKinsey also engaged as a lobbyist to shape certain technicalities in the legislation.”
  • “The events highlight McKinsey’s penchant for confidentiality and multiyear fight against accusations that it intentionally conceals conflicts of interest from federal overseers.”
  • “McKinsey’s travails in Puerto Rico fit into a pattern of other accusations the firm has faced in recent years that it flouts federal disclosure laws to hide conflicts of interest.”
  • “In recent years, McKinsey has agreed to multimillion-dollar fines or settlements related to the adequacy of its disclosures as a bankruptcy consultant for SunEdison Inc., Westmoreland Coal Co., and the mining company Alpha Natural Resources.”
  • “And in November 2021, McKinsey paid the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission $18 million to settle an investigation into potential insider trading risks stemming from MIO’s investments in Puerto Rico and McKinsey’s other bankrupt clients.”
    “Since 2018, when it started lobbying Congress on bankruptcy matters, McKinsey has paid more than $6 million to the three law firms lobbying on Puerto Rico and bankruptcy oversight, according to federal lobbying records. The onset of that lobbying effort marked the first time the firm filed lobbying disclosures in 15 years.”
jobs

BRB Risk Jobs Board — Director of Risk Management

Posted on

Our latest promoted risk management opening comes from Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor. They’re seeking a Director of Risk Management to manage a variety of programs and systems to prevent and mitigate the firm’s operational risks, including New Business Intake, Conflicts of Interest, Information Governance and Data Protection, Insurance and assisting the firm’s General Counsel. They wanted to note some key details on the position:

  • “Candidates should possess a law degree from an accredited law school; a risk management mindset; research skills and analytical abilities; flexibility and after-hours availability. DSBA membership is desirable.”
  • “At Young Conaway, you will find a beautiful facility in the heart of Rodney Square and a dynamic and friendly professional environment with ample opportunity for experience, development and growth.”
  • “We offer competitive compensation commensurate with skill level and experience; excellent comprehensive benefits package, including immediate coverage under our medical, dental & vision plans, parking/commuting allowance, 401K plan and generous paid time off; and exceptional opportunities for training, experience and growth.”

Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Management of New Business Intake (NBI) Process and System (including software, staff and budget)
  • Conflict of interest management (including advising firm attorneys, reviewing lateral/contract attorney work, implementing ethical walls)
  • Facilitating the firms Conflicts of Interest Committee
  • Information Governance and Data Protection (IGDP) (including facilitating the firm’s IGDP Committee, managing the firm’s Security Awareness Program, and coordinating key processes with the firm’s records manager)
  • Providing Assistance to General Counsel (including contract review, reviewing “outside counsel guidelines” and other client terms, assistance with firm engagement letter management)
  • Insurance Program oversight (including coverage management, broker/carrier contact, and claims management)

See the complete job posting for more detail on job and to apply

 

And if you’re interested in seeing your firm’s listings here, please feel free to reach out

Risk Update

Marriage Conflicts (Allegations) — Judge Refuses Recusal, Third Circuit Says Ethical Screen Suffices

Posted on

Judge Won’t Recuse From Citi Cases Over Husband’s Law Firm Ties” —

  • “A federal judge in New York said Thursday that she won’t recuse herself from two cases involving Citigroup Inc. over her husband’s job at a law firm that frequently services the banking giant.”
  • “Plaintiffs in a securities suit over Citi’s internal controls sent a letter April 21 to Judge Loretta A. Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, suggesting that more information was needed to determine if Preska had a conflict of interest. Her husband, Thomas J. Kavaler, works at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, which regularly represents Citi and its subsidiaries in various actions, the plaintiffs noted.”
  • “The judge said she does not have a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy, ‘or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome’ these cases. The court held that the ‘tenuous’ relationship between her husband and this case wasn’t enough to warrant a necessary recusal, in part because he doesn’t get a share of the firm’s profits.”

3rd Circ. Casts Skeptical Eye On Firm DQ Bid In Maxus Case” —

  • “A Third Circuit panel appeared to question Tuesday whether a lawyer who formerly represented Argentine energy company YPF SA in an environmental liability case spilled any secrets when she moved to the law firm representing the Maxus Liquidation Trust and married one of its leading attorneys.”
  • “At oral arguments in Philadelphia, the three-judge panel rigorously questioned attorney Victor Hou, who is representing YPF in is bid to disqualify White & Case from representing Maxus in the litigation. YPF’s former attorney, Jessica Lauria, moved to the firm and married the head of its restructuring department.”
  • “The court’s focus appeared to be on picking apart YPF’s argument that ethical screens put up by a Delaware bankruptcy judge were not sufficient to mitigate any conflicts. Judge Peter J. Phipps said that YPF needed to prove that those screens were faulty, something he indicated he was not convinced of.”
  • “‘I don’t see a path to victory for you unless you can prove the screens were not complied with, or you can prove the screens were structurally deficient,’ Judge Phipps told Hou.”
  • “Hou had argued throughout the session that no type of screen, however stringent, could mitigate the potential harm Lauria could do to YPF because ‘the topics she advised on are the nuclear launch codes’ to YPF’s case.”
  • “When pressed by multiple judges on whether there was a concrete injury done to YPF, Hou responded that the risk posed by Lauria’s potentially talking YPF’s strategy with her husband or current firm was enough.”
  • “‘You want to disqualify an entire firm based on a risk? That’s extreme,’ Judge Phipps said.”
  • “Judge Joseph A. Greenaway Jr. noted that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher S. Sontchi found that the screens were adequate. Judge Sontchi previously said in an April 2021 denial of YPF’s disqualification request that the disqualification bid was a ‘shabby attempt to embarrass Ms. Boelter and Mr. [Thomas] Lauria and/or to prejudice the court in some manner.'”
  • “The court and attorneys referred to Jessica Lauria by her maiden name, Boetler, during the session.”
Risk Update

Client Conflicts — Prospective Client Interview Risk, Departing Lawyer Client Poaching Fines Not Fine

Posted on


When to Hang Up the Phone—Hazards of Talking to Prospective Clients” —

  • “Casual phone inquiries from people seeking an attorney to represent them can sometimes lead to troublesome claims of conflicts of interest. Arthur D. Burger, chair of Jackson & Campbell’s professional responsibility practice group, discusses steps lawyers can take to minimize the likelihood of such claims.”
  • “The casual nature of such inquiries can leave lawyers and their firms vulnerable to being blind-sided by subsequent claims of conflicts of interest that fall outside the firm’s usual mechanisms for screening.”
  • “Should I Listen to the Whole Voicemail Message?… So, for example, if a lawyer is in a firm that defends hospitals and doctors in medical malpractice cases the lawyer should be wary of messages from callers seeking representation in bringing such claims. If the lawyer receives a voicemail of this nature, they should stop listening to the message, delete it and need not return the call. Under these circumstances, the caller cannot credibly assert a conflict of interest if that lawyer’s firm ends up defending the caller’s suit.”
  • “One measure used by some firms is to require lawyers to conduct a preliminary review of potential conflicts before initiating a substantive conversation with a prospective client. This could be done by checking the firm’s data base of current and former clients to rule out the likelihood that the new matter will create a conflict of interest.”
  • “Another measure firms may consider is having the names of former prospective clients entered into the firm’s data base so they will be accessed in the firm’s routine screening of conflicts.”
  • “Notwithstanding the limits on the protections for prospective clients with respect to conflicts of interest, lawyers should remain mindful that their duty of confidentiality and the protection of the attorney-client privilege are the same as those for their former clients. The application of the attorney-client privilege is an inherent feature of the status of prospective clients.”

Appeals court voids firm fee imposed on departing lawyers who take clients with them” —

  • “The Colorado Court of Appeals has addressed two issues of first impression that relate to law firm agreements that aim to prevent departing attorneys from taking clients with them.”
  • “In its April 28 opinion, the appeals court held that an agreement imposing a fee on a departing attorney for each client who leaves with them may violate Colorado Rule of Professional Conduct 5.6(a), which prohibits agreements that restrict ‘the right of a lawyer to practice,’ if it is unreasonable under the circumstances. The appeals court also said contractual provisions that violate this rule are necessarily void as against public policy.”
  • “The case arose after associate attorney Grant Bursek resigned from the Denver office of Modern Family Law in September 2019. The firm requested that Bursek pay $1,052 for each of the 18 clients who left with him per the terms of a reimbursement agreement that he signed earlier that year.”
  • “When Bursek refused, Modern Family Law filed a complaint asserting a breach of contract claim and a claim that a separate confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement was enforceable against Bursek. A district court found that the $1,052-per-client fee violated Rule 5.6(a), and that the agreement was unenforceable. However, the district court agreed that the second agreement was enforceable and entered judgment in favor of the law firm on that claim.”
  • “The appeals court said while the firm’s agreement claimed that the purpose of the fee was to recoup marketing costs, it did not explain why the fee represented a fair estimate of costs for each client. The court noted that the fee was imposed even on clients Bursek brought to the firm without the assistance of marketing.”
  • “While the appeals court also held that a contractual provision that violates Rule 5.6(a) is necessarily void, it said a violation of the rule will not void a contract in its entirety. It reversed the portion of the district court’s order that declared Modern Family Law’s entire agreement unenforceable.”
jobs

BRB Risk Jobs Board — Senior Business Intake & Conflicts Analyst (New Business)

Posted on

The team at Cooley is looking to connect with anyone interested in their new job opening: “Senior Business Intake & Conflicts Analyst (New Business).” Key details on the position:

Location: San Francisco, Palo Alto or San Diego

Key Responsibilities:

  • “The Senior Conflicts Analyst will focus on New Business, working under the supervision of the Director of Conflicts (New Business). They are primarily responsible for processing and analyzing all incoming new client and new matter workflow requests and analyzing large conflict check reports on a daily basis to determine any direct or potential conflicts.”
  • “Process and analyze all incoming new client and new matter workflow requests.”
  • “Identify existing conflicts and determine potential conflicts by reviewing large conflict reports on a daily basis.”
  • “Communicate with responsible attorneys of existing or potential conflicts regarding status of their matters via email and by phone.
    Maintain checklist, notes and outcome of conflicts and responses from responsible attorneys.”
  • “Prepare conflicts analysis emails regarding any potential or direct conflicts to all involved attorneys regarding the resolutions of any potential or direct conflicts.”
  • “Perform legal research of current conflicts case law and legal ethics.”
  • “Assist with conflicts training for secretaries, paralegals and attorneys regarding conflicts procedures.”
  • “Assist with the tracking of waiver letters for conflict of interests on new clients/new matters.”
  • “Responsible for the drafting and implementation of any necessary ethical screen memos.”
  • “Assist Senior Conflicts Analysts (Laterals) with the processing of attorney lateral hire, paralegal and non-staff conflict checks as needed.”

See the complete job posting for more detail on job and to apply

Learn more about working at Cooley (Seven-Time Fortune Best Company to Work For) on their careers page:

  • “Working at Cooley provides an opportunity to work in an environment of collaboration, challenge and reward. We are all part of one firm dedicated to maintaining a diverse workplace that values and celebrates differences—from the way we relate to and support each other, to the way we work together to meet the needs of our clients. It is the unique abilities and perspectives of every individual at Cooley that creates a rewarding workplace.”
  • “For Cooley, this means offering all employees the tools, training and mentoring they need to succeed. It enables every individual to balance work and family obligations. It looks beyond the Firm’s four walls, fostering community involvement. It includes becoming leaders and contributors in our communities.”

 

And if you’re interested in seeing your firm’s listings here, please feel free to reach out

Risk Update

Conflicts Collisions — Attorney Depositions in the DQ Mix

Posted on

Amazon Attorney To Be Deposed To Settle Disqualification Bid” —

  • “A California federal judge ordered a senior in-house patent lawyer at Amazon who is leading the company’s defense of claims of infringement of MasterObjects Inc.’s search engine patent to be deposed regarding a potential conflict of interest that MasterObjects accuses him of trying to hide.”
  • “On Monday, Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ordered attorney Scott Sanford to be deposed by software company MasterObjects, which comes after the judge called a gap in Sanford’s LinkedIn profile ‘suspicious’ because it omitted a two-year stint at a law firm that represented MasterObjects.”
  • “In its opposition to the motion filed with the court, Amazon asserts that MasterObjects filed the motion for tactical reasons, to distract from allegations of unclean hands that Amazon has lodged against the software maker.”
  • [See: Previous news on this matter.]

Crowell loses bid to question ex-Walgreens top lawyer in conflicts case” —

  • “Crowell & Moring has lost a bid to question the former top lawyer at Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, as the law firm tries to fend off a conflict-of-interest lawsuit brought by the national pharmacy retailer.”
  • “In an order released on Wednesday, Judge Hiram E. Puig-Lugo of the District of Columbia Superior Court said Crowell had not shown it was necessary to depose Marco Pagni, who left his role as chief legal officer with the retail giant’s parent company last year and is now living in the UK.”
  • “Walgreens last year sued Crowell in D.C. Superior Court, alleging the law firm violated confidences when it began representing major U.S. health insurers against Walgreens in arbitration and court matters involving drug pricing. Crowell once advised Walgreens on the drug matters that are now in contention, the lawsuit alleged.”
  • “Crowell’s lawyers at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis argued Walgreens was ‘aware of the facts of the supposed conflict’ at least two years before it sued, and that the timing supports the contention that Walgreens ‘waived its claims and failed to mitigate supposed damages by taking no action.'”
  • “Puig-Lugo ruled that ‘Crowell has not shown that Mr. Pagni would hold ‘unique’ information’ about certain drug-pricing matters. ‘Crowell has failed to show that the information sought is not available from other sources,’ the judge wrote.”
  • “The court said it would revisit a deposition if Crowell says it is unable to obtain information from other officials.”