Monday, July 8, 2013

Defense Counsel’s Prior Representation of Plaintiff’s Affiliate No Grounds for Disqualification

The court denied plaintiff's emergency motion to disqualify defense counsel. Although counsel previously represented plaintiff's parent company, counsel's relationship with the parent did not transfer to plaintiff. "[I]t is undisputed that [plaintiff's parent] is [defense counsel's former] client, not a current one, and the Court is not convinced the [Honeywell Int'l, Inc. v. Philips Lumileds Lighting Co. (E.D.Tex. 2009)] factors apply. Regardless, courts have held that 'representation adverse to a former client’s affiliate is proper unless there is a high degree of operational commonality and financial dependence between the affiliated entities.' Other than [plaintiff's owner's] common involvement, [plaintiff] has not presented evidence of [its] operational commonality with or financial dependence on [its parent]."

Evolutionary Intelligence, LLC v. Facebook, Inc., 6-12-cv-00784 (TXED July 3, 2013, Order) (Craven, M.J.).

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