Risk Update

Ethical Screen in Success — In Apple IP Patent Push, Ethical Wall Works

Maxell Can’t Disqualify DLA Piper In Patent Row With Apple” —

  • “A Texas federal judge Tuesday denied Maxell’s bid to disqualify DLA Piper LLP from representing Apple in a wide-ranging patent dispute after the law firm hired one of Maxell’s former attorneys from Mayer Brown, saying DLA Piper has provided “exhaustive” evidence that no confidential Maxell information has been circulated.”
  • “U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder rejected Maxell’s motion, finding that DLA Piper timely put in place an ethical wall screening attorney Justin Park — who moved from Mayer Brown to DLA Piper — from disclosing any confidential Maxell information with anyone at his new firm and every DLA Piper attorney working on Apple matters was told not to communicate with Park about Maxell, according to the order.”
  • “Even when Park found some confidential Maxell emails, an information technology investigation showed the emails had never been in the email mailbox of any other DLA Piper employee nor were they saved on DLA Piper’s document management system or Park’s cloud storage, the judge said.”
  • “Judge Schroeder said he can’t conclude that DLA Piper’s screening procedures were ineffective. ‘DLA Piper has now provided exhaustive evidence demonstrating that no attorney working on any matters involving Apple or Maxell received or viewed any confidential Maxell information, as well as sworn testimony confirming that Maxell’s confidential materials were not accessed by any attorneys other than Mr. Park and [DLA Piper’s Office of General Counsel],’ the judge added.”
  • “After Maxell filed its motion to disqualify DLA Piper in October, the firm — represented by attorneys from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP — staunchly asserted that it did not receive any privileged information about Maxell. Maxell hit back criticizing DLA Piper’s ethical screen.”
  • “The judge denied Maxell’s motion, but ordered DLA Piper to provide written updates to the company regarding the law firm’s continued compliance with the ethical screening requirements. He also ordered DLA Piper to return or destroy all copies of the Maxell materials at issue within the next week.”