Risk Update

Conflicts Allegations & Rulings — “Hot Potato” Side Switch, A Game of Skill & More

K&L Gates Loses Dismissal Appeal in Conflict Case” —

  • “K&L Gates has again suffered a loss in its effort to quash a Texas lawsuit alleging it engaged in conflicts of interest, including violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act… In the underlying suit, a Texas semiconductor company, Quantum Materials Corp., claimed the law firm represented lenders in a legal action against Quantum while also representing Quantum.”
  • “Quantum retained K&L Gates in 2016 as corporate counsel—yet although they stopped sending work to the firm, the representation never formally ended, the company claims.”
  • “While the panel ruled that claims the firm breached its fiduciary duty and engaged in deceptive trade practices should go forward, the judges took a more restrained view about another Quantum claim, that the firm engaged in legal malpractice… Instead, the panel found that the malpractice claim is ‘in substance’ a claim of breach of fiduciary duty.”
  • “A K&L Gates spokesman declined comment on the opinion and the case.”

Game Maker Says Eckert Seamans Can’t Represent Rival” —

  • “A Georgia-based game machine maker asked a Pennsylvania federal court Tuesday to block its onetime law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC from representing its rival, arguing the legal attacks the firm has leveled since jumping ship to counsel the rival are ‘a clear breach of its fiduciary duty.'”
  • “Pace-O-Matic, which refers to itself as an “amusement machine supplier,” sued the law firm in February, accusing it of breaching its contract and fiduciary duties by dropping the business “like the proverbial ‘hot potato'” to take on Greenwood Gaming, which allegedly has deeper pockets, as a client.”
  • “According to the memo, Eckert Seamans began representing Pace-O-Matic in 2011 and was retained for a second matter in 2016. The firm argued on the company’s behalf up until last summer in a legal dispute in Virginia. In that dispute, the firm contended that its devices are games of skill and not gambling, according to the memo. Also during that time, the firm had access to Pace-O-Matic’s confidential material, Pace-O-Matic alleges.”
  • “Counsel for Eckert Seamans declined to comment Wednesday.”