Risk Update

Conflicts Cure Attempt — The Pinky Promise Gambit Goes Bad

Eckert Seamans Can’t ‘Pinky Promise’ To Duck Casino Conflict”

  • “A Pennsylvania federal judge wouldn’t accept a “pinky promise’ from Eckert Seamans that it has stopped representing a casino against a former client who manufactures games, so the law firm must face the game maker’s motion for a preliminary injunction.”
  • “U.S. District Judge Jennifer Wilson rejected the law firm’s request to dismiss Pace-O-Matic Inc.’s motion for a preliminary injunction as moot, reasoning that Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott’s declarations that it had withdrawn from representing Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc. — which does business as Parx Casino — weren’t enough to guarantee that it wouldn’t resume that representation.”
  • “‘Without suggesting that Eckert intends to renege on the commitments made in the declarations submitted to the court, the court observes that commitments made in a declaration are akin to ‘pinky promises,’ inasmuch as they are not easily enforceable in the event of breach (as compared to a court order).'”
  • “Georgia-based Pace-O-Matic, also known as POM, had hired Eckert Seamans to represent it in a lawsuit in Virginia in 2016, where the firm argued that POM’s game machines required the use of skill and therefore weren’t illegal gambling machines.”
  • “But in 2018, when POM filed two lawsuits in Pennsylvania over the removal of its games, Eckert Seamans allegedly took the opposite position and argued in an amicus brief for the casino operator that POM’s gadgets were gambling machines and should be barred. When POM brought up the alleged conflict of interest and asked the firm to drop Parx in Pennsylvania, it instead dropped POM in Virginia, the court noted.”