Risk Update

Disqualification Dollars, Inadvertent Disclosure & Canadian Conflict Concerns

DQ’d Lawyers Must Pay PNC’s Atty Fees In Foreclosure Fight”

  • “A Florida federal judge has ordered two attorneys who were disqualified from representing homeowners in a foreclosure dispute to pay legal fees and costs to PNC Bank, after the lawyers used privileged information in an amended complaint they filed in the case.”
  • “A May 2018 discovery production of documents from PNC in the federal suit inadvertently included an unredacted copy of the bank’s loan activity notes. As soon as he received this, Newhart alerted PNC’s counsel and said there may have been an inadvertent disclosure, according to a report by U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel C. Irick.”
  • “PNC asked Newhart to destroy the documents, but he refused and asserted any privilege had been waived through inadvertent disclosure. He did, however, promise to sequester the notes while he took up the issue with the court, according to the magistrate.”

Conflict of interest? Questions persist about law firm working for both city and SNC-Lavalin” —

  • “Questions about the relationship between an outside lawyer hired by the city and SNC-Lavalin has stirred up questions of conflict of interest. Norton Rose Fulbright, the law firm that advised the city on its LRT Stage 2 project, is the same firm that advises the controversial engineering giant that eventually won the $1.6-billion contract. Geoffrey Gilbert, a procurement and commercial law expert with the firm, wouldn’t disclose details about the bid scoring to council at a March 6 council meeting — even if council went into a closed session —because of confidentiality provisions of the Stage 2 procurement process.”
  • “The matter raised questions for Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney, who asked why a legal firm that represented the city and had also represented SNC-Lavalin was denying councillors information they were seeking. On Thursday, she said there should be a public declaration of a conflict of interest.”
  • “In a statement to this newspaper this week, O-Train construction director Michael Morgan said Norton Rose Fulbright won the Stage 2 legal contract after a competitive process in 2016. The law firm had to disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest and was cleared by the independent fairness commissioner, he said. The city was ‘fully aware’ Norton Rose Fulbright had advised other private organizations, including SNC, on unrelated matters. It didn’t create a conflict of interest in the Stage 2 procurement, Morgan said.”