Risk Update

Conflicts News — Malpractice Allegations, Both-sides Repped

O’Melveny Legal Malpractice Drama Heads Back to Court” —

  • U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder is presiding over a long-running case that pits Aletheia Research and Management’s Chapter 7 estate trustee, Jeffrey I. Golden, against the BigLaw firm.
    But Golden likely will face an uphill battle to convince Snyder that arbitrator Gary Feess “disregarded” the law in June when he found that O’Melveny’s joint representation of Aletheia and its founders didn’t violate conflict of interest rules.
    Golden now argues that public policy demands vacating the Feess’s ruling because it ignores state law prohibiting attorneys from jointly representing clients with conflicting interests without informed written consent.
    O’Melveny argues that Golden’s allegations are baseless. Feess found no conflict in the firm’s joint representation and Golden “has not proved that anything O’Melveny did or failed to do caused damage to Aletheia,” it said.

Firm DQed After Repping Both Sides In Business Sale Dispute” —

  • “A New York federal judge has disqualified Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP in a business sale dispute involving a marketing company that was acquired by a rival and the company’s previous owners, finding the law firm had concurrently represented both sides.”
  • “As the dispute was ripening in October 2018, Tannenbaum Helpern counseled both the Stephensons and Mission Media, including its then-chief operating officer and general counsel, according to the opinion.”
  • “‘It very may well be that there is an innocent explanation for [Tannenbaum Helpern’s] conduct in October 2018 while it represented both Mission Media and the Stephensons, but the Stephensons have not provided it to this court,’ the opinion said.”
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