No Conflict Found From Concurrent Representation of Plaintiff and Non-Party Manufacturers of Accused Devices
Motion by Dorsey & Whitney LLP to withdraw as counsel for plaintiff was denied and the court found no conflict warranting such withdrawal under the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct. "Dorsey represents a patent holder claiming that a cellular telephone service provider is infringing one or more of its patents. Dorsey also provides unrelated legal services to a manufacturer of cellular telephones that has an exclusive service arrangement with the provider being sued in this matter. . . . The Court is not persuaded that Dorsey has a concurrent conflict of interest. . . . Even if Dorsey might have good cause for withdrawal, the Court may and does order Dorsey to continue representing plaintiff. . . . This case will be considerably delayed if Dorsey is permitted to withdraw and new counsel is required to make up the ground already covered. Moreover, given the potential impact of this litigation on a large number of cellular telephone manufacturers, plaintiff would likely face significant challenges in retaining substitute attorneys who are free from conflict and experienced in patent litigation. The Court therefore concludes that the administration of justice would be best served by Dorsey remaining plaintiff’s counsel of record."
Airbiquity Inc. v. AT&T Inc. et al., 2-08-cv-00094
(WAWD August 14, 2009, Order) (Zilly, J.)