Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Prior representation of plaintiff by Oblon partner disqualifies former PTO Commissioner as defense expert witness

Defendants' expert, former PTO Commissioner, Gerald Mossinghoff, was disqualified where another member of his firm, Oblon, Spivak, represented plaintiff in an interference proceeding "involv[ing] the same Plaintiff and same Defendant litigating over the same patent." The court rejected defendant's argument that an internal ethical wall separated the two representations. "Regardless of whether an ethical wall exception to strict firm-wide disqualification may be permitted by the California Supreme Court, the facts of this case make it unmistakably clear that no such effective measures exist at the Oblon, Spivak firm so as to prevent Mr. Mossinghoff’s imputed disqualification."

Roger Plumley v. Doug Mockett & Co. et al., 2-04-cv-02868 (CACD December 22, 2008, Minutes).

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