Risk Update

Risk News — IP Ethical Screen Challenged, A New Election Conflict Alleged

Maxell Scoffs At DLA Piper’s ‘Ethical Screen’ In Apple IP Suit” —

  • “Maxell, represented by Mayer Brown LLP, and Apple, represented by DLA Piper, have been locked in the disqualification dispute in the run-up to a Dec. 7 patent trial, arguing over whether DLA Piper can still participate after it was found that former Mayer Brown lawyer Justin Park, who went to DLA Piper in January, allegedly brought privileged Maxell documents with him.”
  • “‘DLA Piper’s opposition is devoid of any adequate response to Maxell’s allegations that DLA Piper failed to implement a timely, effective ethical screen for Mr. Park … DLA Piper had and has in its possession Maxell highly confidential and attorney-client privileged documents which it previously denied having,’ Maxell said.”
  • “According to Maxell, it found out DLA Piper had been hired by Apple regarding an International Trade Commission matter at the end of July. DLA Piper says it began a screening process on July 30 with regard to Park and Maxell, and completed it “well before August 28,” the date the firm says Apple hired it for this Maxell case. But Maxell says this screen was “insufficient” and didn’t prevent the sharing of documents.”
  • “Maxell said that from 2016 to January 2020, Park worked on all of Mayer Brown’s smartphone matters for Maxell and was an ‘integral part’ of the company’s litigation team, billing hundreds of hours.”

Atlanta Law Firms Deny Conflict In Georgia Election Suits” —

  • “Atlanta-based law firms Taylor English Duma LLP and Robbins Ross Alloy Belinfante Littlefield LLC on Thursday denied an alleged conflict of interest over their involvement in representing Georgia election officials in one voting suit and the Donald Trump campaign and Georgia Republicans in another.”
  • “The law firms have drawn fire for what critics say is an untenable position: both defending the Georgia election process while also representing Republicans who’ve alleged problems in the state’s count of 2020 presidential ballots.”
  • “‘Taylor English attorneys have not brought any litigation asserting voter fraud, nor are we representing any entity in a challenge to or contest of Georgia election results,’ the firm said in an emailed statement. ‘We have taken no action on behalf of any client adverse to the legal interests of the Georgia secretary of state, and vice-versa. We have no conflict of interest.'”
  • “Taylor English and Robbins Ross lawyers both are defending Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and state election board members in a three-year federal court case challenging the state’s election process. The same lawyers also represented Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party of Georgia in a post-Election Day suit alleging 53 ballots were wrongly counted in the Savannah area, which was promptly dismissed by a Chatham County Superior Court judge.”
  • “Cunningham [Georgia State University College of Law legal ethicals professor], who is not involved in the election litigation, said he was astounded that lawyers who had for years represented the state in defending its election process would simultaneously challenge that process on behalf of Trump’s campaign and the Georgia Republican Party. ‘How can that be anything than entirely inappropriate? I think it’s appalling,’ Cunningham said. ‘Even if the representation of the secretary of state and the Trump campaign were completely unrelated, I think it would still be a problem, but they’re closely related. And right now the secretary of state needs to have unimpeachable integrity in dealing with this election.'”
  • “Cunningham said at minimum the Taylor English and Robbins Ross attorneys should have asked for Raffensperger’s permission to represent Trump and Georgia Republicans, but that regardless the conflict was too serious to be waived by consent.”

A local paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also covers the story: “Does representation of both Trump and state create a conflict of interest?