Risk Update

Divorce Matter & Information Security Disparagement + Late Disqualification Action Leads to Presumed Waiver,

Edelson: Disqualify wife’s divorce lawyers, because might aid Johnson & Bell disparagement case vs Edelson” —

  • “Chicago class action lawyer Jay Edelson, who is mired in divorce proceedings, wants his wife’s attorneys kicked off the case, because he alleges they could feed sensitive information from the divorce to the Chicago firm Johnson & Bell, which is suing Edelson on grounds he wrongfully disparaged their practice.”
  • “‘In light of the unrestrainably antagonistic nature of the relationship between Johnson & Bell on one hand and Edelson PC and Jay, on the other, this honorable court should presume that Johnson & Bell will exploit any advantage available to it in its pursuit of retribution against Edelson PC and Jay,’ Edelson said in a recently filed motion.”
  • “Johnson & Bell specializes in defending corporations against lawsuits, like those brought by Edelson and other plaintiffs’ law firms. Johnson & Bell sued Edelson in 2017 in Cook County Circuit Court, alleging Edelson disseminated “lies” about the firm’s allegedly inadequate data security to the Wall Street Journal and the professional publication American Lawyer.”
  • “In addition, Johnson & Bell alleged Edelson and his firm have violated ethical duties, abused court processes and ‘engaged in a self-serving publicity tour spreading their lies and defamatory statements.’ Johnson & Bell also alleged Edelson preys on businesses with nuisance suits to extort settlements.”

BRB: That firm’s name rang a bell… Indeed, we noted the related story concerning their information security practices and news back in April.)

via Bill Frievogel: Patrolmen’s Benevolent Ass’n v. New York State Employment Relations Bd., 2019 WL 4491669 (N.Y. App. Div. Sept. 19, 2019)

  • “This is a complaint by Union against Board for declaratory judgment seeking the disqualification of an arbitrator. The current arbitration arises out of the failure of Union and City to agree on a contract in 2017. The arbitration panel comprises three members, two of them selected by the parties, and the third (“neutral”) agreed upon by the parties.”
  • “The City selected the arbitrator subject to this suit, Lawyer Linn. Union seeks Linn’s disqualification. The problem is that Linn had performed consulting services for Union over a period of years, until 2003, on issues similar to those in the current arbitration. In 2014 the city appointed Linn as its arbitrator in a Union matter similar to this one.”
  • “Union sought Linn’s disqualification at the outset of the 2014 arbitration. The State Employment Board advised it had no authority to disqualify Linn. The parties proceeded to arbitration, and Union took no further action regarding disqualification, nor sought review of the award.”
  • “On to this case: The trial court denied disqualification. In this opinion the appellate court affirmed, holding, among other things, that Union’s failure to follow through on its objection to Linn in the 2014 arbitration amounted to a waiver of Linn’s conflict in the current arbitration. Given the identical parties and similarity of the issues to those in the 2014 arbitration, the failure to pursue disqualification then should count as a waiver for purposes of the current arbitration.”
If you liked this post, please share it: