Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Counsel’s Failure to Terminate Client Relationship Warrants Disqualification

The court granted defendant's motion to disqualify plaintiff's lead counsel because counsel provided defendant opinion letters for six years and failed to terminate the relationship. "[Plaintiff's counsel] declares that he asked during [the last teleconference with defendant] whether [defendant] needed any further work on this matter and he was told they did not. [Defendant's] declarants do not recall this exchange. . . . [A]n existing attorney-client relationship can definitely continue by implication. [Plaintiff's counsel] was unable to articulate at the hearing any basis to suggest that [defendant] would not have expected to continue to use [its] legal services to evaluate the further developments in the Manufacturers matter. . . . [Defendant] had a reasonable expectation that [counsel] would continue to act as its lawyer in the Manufacturers matter and that [counsel] failed to give [defendant] reasonable notice to the contrary before undertaking the adverse representation of [plaintiff] in this matter."

TQP Development, LLC v. Adobe Systems Incorporated, 2-12-cv-00570 (TXED July 13, 2013, Order) (Payne, M.J.).

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