Risk Update

Counsel Changes — Past Client Work Not Disqualifying, Firm Bans Bannon

Ex-Faegre Attorney’s Past Work for Biomet Not Disqualifying” —

  • “Thompson is an associate at Bachus & Schanker LLC, the Bayeses lead counsel. She began her legal career several years earlier at Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath, where she did routine, entry-level work on products liability cases involving Zimmer Holdings Inc.’s Durom Cup metal-on-metal hip implant.”
  • “Zimmer and Biomet were rivals at the time, but merged shortly before Thompson left the firm. Thompson entered an appearance on behalf of the merged firm in one case in Utah state court. That case involved a different hip implant and didn’t raise defective design claims, the court said.”
  • “The court undertook an extensive look at six factors relevant to determining if Thompson’s representation of the Bayeses was substantially related to her representation of Biomet in the Utah case. It concluded this wasn’t ‘a close call.'”
  • “Only one factor arguably weighed in Biomet’s favor—the knowledge of Zimmer’s negotiating strategy Thompson gained during the Utah case, the court said Thursday. The court said it doubted Thompson’s knowledge of or contribution to those strategies was significant and, in any event, an adverse finding on a single factor wasn’t enough to disqualify her.”

Quinn Emanuel no longer represents Steve Bannon after he suggests beheading Dr. Fauci” —

  • “Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has said it is no longer representing Steve Bannon after the former strategist for President Donald Trump made controversial remarks on a podcast.”
  • “Quinn Emanuel partner William Burck did not disclose the reason for withdrawing from Bannon’s defense on charges that he defrauded donors to an online crowdfunding campaign to help pay for the border wall.”
  • “Burck’s Nov. 6 letter to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres of the Southern District of New York merely said Bannon is in the process of retaining new counsel, and Quinn Emanuel intends to move to withdraw.”
  • “The New York Times spoke with Stephen Gillers, a professor at the New York University School of Law, about the withdrawal. Speaking generally, Gillers said lawyers will withdraw when a client sabotages their work. ‘Bannon’s public comments made Burck’s job more difficult,’ Gillers said. ‘Burck was hired to fight the prosecutors and should not also have to do battle with his own client.'”
  • “The New York Law Journal also points out that prosecutors had raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest because Quinn Emanuel lawyers were involved in work for the crowdfunding campaign, called We Build the Wall. Burck had responded that none of the lawyers working on Bannon’s criminal case had been involved in that work.”