Risk Update

Conflicts Collisions — Attorney Depositions in the DQ Mix

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.”