Risk Update

Risk News — Waiver Debate + Disqualification, New Judicial Ethics Opinion

McGuireWoods Out Of Hartford Suit For Conflict Of Interest” —

  • “An Indiana federal judge dropped McGuireWoods LLP from a trade secret suit brought by a Hartford insurance unit against OneCIS Insurance Co., ruling that the firm can’t represent OneCIS without Hartford’s consent because Hartford is also a McGuireWoods client.”
  • “U.S. District Judge Debra McVicker Lynch granted Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Co.’s bid to disqualify McGuireWoods from representing its adversary party OneCIS, finding Friday that Hartford has never agreed to a conflict waiver as a client of McGuireWoods.”
  • “Without consent, attorneys are not allowed to represent a client when ‘the representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client,’ the judge said, terminating attorneys A. Wolfgang McGavran, Meghaan C. Madriz and Yasser A. Madriz from representing OneCIS in the suit.”
  • “McGuireWoods previously argued that Hartford “prospectively waived conflicts” for issues not related to the legal work the firm does for Hartford. The judge disagreed, saying that waiver only applies in matters when Hartford is not involved as a party.”

And, “Judicial Ethics Opinion 20-89: A judge may not mail congratulatory letters to a graduating high school class” —

  • ” Our core concern is the likely public perception of such activity as political in nature, and a possible appearance that the prestige of judicial office is being used to advance the judge’s purely private interests.”
  • And the NY Courts website has a quiz on judicial ethics, for those who like testing.