Risk Update

Playbook Conflict Checked — (Or: 14 Years Ago is a Long Time…)

MehaffyWeber Attys Beat DQ Bid In Texas Geological Data Suit” —

  • “U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone on Monday denied a request from Cinco Bayous LLC, Jim Wingate, Tanya Wingate and William Wingate to disqualify MehaffyWeber attorneys Morris C. Carrington and Corey Jacob Seel, whom they argued had gained access to their litigation ‘playbook’ through representation of them in an unrelated dispute from 2004 to 2006.”
  • “That means Carrington and Seel — as well as their colleague Jesse Franklin Beck, who was not involved in the earlier dispute — can continue working on the lawsuit Cinco Bayous and the Wingates brought against their client in August 2019.”
  • “Judge Crone wrote that it was ‘unclear’ how information gleaned from 14-year-old litigation could be used to Samson’s advantage here, saying it ‘is difficult to conclude’ that two years of work on a case would yield the MehaffyWeber team a ”playbook’ of substance or complexity that is still relevant” or applicable. The present lawsuit, she held, involves “different issues, properties, and parties.'”
  • Cinco Bayous and the Wingates alleged that both cases concerned the failure to ‘provide and transfer seismic information in relation to an oil and gas lease,’ and that the claims in both sets of lawsuits — breach of contract, fraudulent inducement and conversion — are also similar, the judge noted.
  • “‘Despite the overlap in the generic subject matter … plaintiffs do not delineate any other similarities,’ the judge held. ‘The mere fact that plaintiffs mention the term ‘seismic data’ in both lawsuits does not create a substantial relationship between the two suits when the seismic data in dispute is derived from different tracts of land and is offered for dissimilar reasons and context.'”