Risk Update

Quinn Edition: Cosby Conflict, Uber Argument, Soccer Defense & Lateral Dollar Drama

Any firm can find itself making risk news for any number of reasons. This one just happens to have had several hits on radar this week:

Bill Cosby is fighting a $6.7 million lawyer bill” —

  • “Cosby says he hired Quinn Emanuel to represent him after ‘public claims of sexual misconduct against [him] began to snowball at the end of 2014,’ and that the firm ended up working on 10 different matters representing Cosby. At that point, Cosby had the firm on a retainer. However, Cosby claims that the partner in charge of his cases, Christopher Tayback, son of actor Vic Tayback, did not talk to Cosby about the specifics of the retainer contract prior to its signing.”
  • “Cosby is now serving three to 10 years in a state prison after he was convicted last year of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand at his home 15 years ago.”
  • “Cosby also accused AIG and Quinn Emanuel of failing to disclose a conflict of interest for not revealing the fact that the insurance company had previously and was continuing to use the firm’s services on other legal matters, and the firm had knowledge that AIG had filed declaratory relief actions against Cosby — seeking to avoid having to cover his legal fees to be paid to the very same firm.”

In Fight to Stay in Case Against Former Client Uber, Quinn Emanuel Faces Skeptical Judge” —

  • “The federal judge who will decide whether lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan get to pursue an antitrust case against former client Uber Technologies Inc. greeted a lawyer from the firm with extreme skepticism and a flurry of difficult questions Friday.”
  • “U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the Northern District of California opened a hearing on Uber’s motion to disqualify the Quinn Emanuel lawyers by raising concerns about the similarities between the lawsuit he’s overseeing and an earlier suit where Quinn played the defense role for Uber.”
  • “Uber’s lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher filed their motion to disqualify the Quinn lawyer in February. Uber contends that Quinn Emanuel represented it in at least 20 cases from 2012 to 2016 that delved into competition issues similar to the ones in the Sidecar case.”
  • “Spero also took issue with language included in declarations by Quinn lawyers, including firm co-founder and chairman John Quinn, which said that they ‘had no particular recollection’ of discussing antitrust issues that in-house lawyers at Uber claimed the firm had advised on. ‘My presumption has got to be that if the lawyer doesn’t remember it and the client does, that the client is right,’ Spero said.”

Soccer Charity Says Bid To DQ Quinn Emanuel A Distraction” —

  • “A soccer charity is pushing back on a bid to disqualify Quinn Emanuel from a trademark dispute against the U.S. Soccer Federation, calling the request a baseless distraction.”
  • “The move to disqualify Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP comes in a suit by the charity, called the U.S. Soccer Federation Foundation Inc., which is aiming to prove it can legally use the name after USSF pushed the charity to give it up in November. According to the charity, Raskopf was an associate with the now-shuttered Townley & Updike in the early 1980s when the firm was hired by USSF to obtain certain trademarks.”
  • “‘The mere existence of decades-old, uncontested registrations for non-foundation marks, for which other Townley & Updike personnel were primarily responsible, cannot bar Quinn Emanuel’s representation of the foundation for the simple reason that any such facts are irrelevant to this case,’ the charity wrote. The charity added that at the time, Raskopf was only four years out of law school, and the documentation doesn’t even establish what actual work, if any, he did with those trademarks.”

Quinn Emanuel Gets Suit Brought by Partners in NYC Spinoff Routed to Arbitration” —

  • “If the decision by a New York state judge stands and Quinn Emanuel prevails in arbitration, Selendy & Gay partners could be forced to turn over 10 percent of the fees they got from former Quinn Emanuel clients in the 18 months after they departed.”
  • “Partners at Selendy & Gay had argued that Quinn Emanuel’s effort to make them turn over a share of the legal fees they took with them violated state ethics rules, but Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ruled this week she could not evaluate that dispute.”
  • “In an emailed statement, Phillip Beck of Bartlit Beck, which represented Selendy & Gay’s partners alongside the firm of Vladeck, Raskin & Clark, saw a silver lining in the decision. He noted that the judge acknowledged his side’s arguments that Quinn Emanuel was simply using the fees provision as a cudgel to convince Selendy & Gay to not try to poach its associates.”
  • “Quinn Emanuel founder John Quinn previously told ALM that he wasn’t too worried about the dispute. ‘Last year was the best year we have ever had and, by reports, they have done well also,’ he said in an email for a February article. ‘The dispute is only about money and will eventually be resolved one way or another for an immaterial amount.'”