Risk Update

Former Client Conflicts Allegations — One Successful DQ, One Not

Latham & Watkins Disqualified From Defense Logistics Protest” —

  • “Latham & Watkins LLP can’t represent Quantico Tactical Inc. in a pre-award protest of a defense logistics procurement because the law firm previously represented another bidder, Atlantic Diving Supply Inc., the U.S. Court of Federal Claims ruled.”
  • “If allowed to continue in this case, Latham, which previously prepared an SEC form for Atlantic Diving, would be seeking to hurt Atlantic Diving’s position based on information it learned about the company’s corporate structure, Judge Eric G. Bruggink said in a decision released Tuesday.”
  • “‘The same attorneys who once had unfettered access to ADS’ proprietary information should not be sitting across the table at deposition inquiring into the same issues,’ the court said.”

Keller Rohrback May Represent Homeowner Against Former Client” —

  • “Seattle-based law firm Keller Rohrback LLP may continue to represent homeowners suing USAA Casualty Insurance Co. over its alleged bad-faith refusal to pay for expenses after a house fire, the Washington Supreme Court said in a matter of first impression.”
  • “The case is factually distinct from Keller’s previous defense of USAA in a bad-faith insurance suit involving a house fire, the high court said Thursday. Its decision interpreting changes to professional conduct rules reverses a state appeals court ruling disqualifying Keller and reinstates the trial court’s order.”
  • “The court looked to other states’ interpretations of the American Bar Association’s version of the rule on conflicts of interest and its comments, which Washington ‘effectively adopted’ in 2006, it said. The rule bars a lawyer from representing someone ‘in the same or a substantially related matter in which that person’s interests are materially adverse’ to a former client’s interests, without the former client’s consent.”
  • “The resolution here ‘depends on just how related the former and current representation must be,’ the high court said in an opinion by Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud.”