Risk Update

Conflicts News — Netflix + Comedian (with a Malpractice Twist), A Settled Conflicts Suit, and A Sex Cult Conflict

Judge to Hear Motion to Toss Gordon Rees’ Defenses in Legal Malpractice Case” —

  • “Attorneys for plaintiff Terry Hodges say Gordon Reese attorneys, including named partner Roger Mansukhani, changed their stories over whether they searched for relevant texts, emails or chats tied to claims the firm concealed a conflict of interest from Hodges when it represented him in the underlying litigation.”
  • “The texts were sought to bolster Hodges’ claim that Gordon Rees—which represented him in a dispute with Netflix and fellow funnyman Chris Tucker—concealed that it was also representing Netflix, even after it learned it had a conflict.”
  • “Gordon Rees’ lawyers responded that the issue is a red herring designed to ‘avoid a determination of the merits’ of the case and that the reason none of the texts from 2015 were found or searched for is because the lawyers in question either do not use texting for work or routinely delete any texts.”
  • “Hodges’ filed the underlying lawsuit in 2015, claiming that Tucker owed him for years of writing and production tasks and had promised him co-producer credit for Netflix’s 2015 ‘Chris Tucker Live.’ Hodges’ complaint said the firm only disclosed the conflict after it had engineered Netflix’s dismissal from the suit and accepted thousands of dollars in fees before dumping Hodges.”

Morgan Lewis Settles $30M Pa. Suit Over Alleged Conflict” —

  • “Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP has inked a settlement to end a $30 million lawsuit accusing the firm of working against a client’s interests by helping to build a case against it on behalf of a Wisconsin-based hospital system.”
  • “The deal ends claims by a Willis Towers Watson unit as it sought to recoup fees paid to Morgan Lewis before it learned that the firm was assisting counsel for Meriter Health System Inc. put together a suit against the the unit. The claims involved an allegedly flawed retirement plan designed by a Willis Towers Watson predecessor.”
  • “Morgan Lewis has denied liability in the case brought against it by Towers Watson and argued that the company had signed an agreement when it retained the firm allowing Morgan Lewis to represent parties with adverse interests.”

Sex cult leader Keith Raniere will not be sentenced until 2020: judge” —

  • “Raniere, 58, wore his hair buzzed short and a pair of oversized tan jail scrubs on his small frame during the brief proceeding. He was brought into court in handcuffs for discussions relating to a potential conflict of interest involving one of his attorneys, Teny Geragos.”
  • “At some point after Raniere’s conviction, Geragos applied for a job at the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn — the office that handled the NXIVM prosecutions. Raniere is required to waive the conflict if he wishes to proceed with Geragos on his defense team. Her father, Mark Geragos, is a Los Angeles-based celebrity attorney… The parties were told to file arguments and return to court on Oct. 31 for the conflict hearing to go forward.”