Risk Update

Varsity Blues Conflicts News — “Aunt Becky” Wins One (With One Pending)

Statistically, it looks like many are particularly interested in the latest developments tied to the Varsity Blues matter. So, here’s the latest: “Judge says Loughlin, husband can stick with their law firm” —

  • “Actress Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, will be able to continue using a law firm that recently represented the University of Southern California, which is an alleged victim in the sweeping college admissions bribery case, a federal judge allowed Tuesday.”
    “But Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley declined to rule on a different potential conflict of interest in the couple’s legal representation and said she would decide later, calling it more serious.”
  • “The couple are accused of paying $500,000 to have their two daughters labeled as recruits to the USC crew team, even though neither participated in the sport. They have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.”
  • “Lawyers for the Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins law firm, which Loughlin and Giannulli have retained for representation, said Tuesday that it represented USC in an unrelated real estate case that had been handled by different lawyers. Prosecutors had argued that retaining the firm could pose a serious conflict, especially if the firm’s lawyers questioned USC officials at trial or gathered information from the university during the case’s discovery phase.”
  • “But in court Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen acknowledged that USC, as of this month, was no longer a client. Instead, he argued, there is a potentially greater conflict with Giannulli’s additional counsel from the firm Donnelly, Conroy & Gelhaar.”
  • “The firm represents Davina Isackson, who, along with her husband, California real estate developer Bruce Isackson, has pleaded guilty to paying $600,000 in shares of stock to get their daughters into USC and the University of California Los Angeles.”
  • “Judge Kelley said she would decide later on that potential conflict, a type that is ‘typically considered to be the most serious… This is the situation where judges most often remove lawyers from cases, if they are representing someone who is cooperating against another person,’ Kelley told Giannulli.”
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