Friday, February 14, 2014

Ethical Screen Avoids Imputed Conflict

The court denied defendant's motion to disqualify plaintiff's counsel. Although two attorneys at plaintiff's firm previously represented defendant in a patent suit, plaintiff's counsel sufficiently screened those two attorneys. "Pursuant to the screen, which the Court finds was timely implemented three days after [plaintiff's firm] was formed, [the two attorneys] have been isolated from any participation in the current matter, including a written agreement that the two attorneys would avoid any communication with other [firm] personnel relating to the [current] matter. All [plaintiff's] lawyers have been notified of the screening and are continuously notified on a monthly basis that the screen is still in effect. Additionally, several mandatory security measures (i.e. password protection) have been put into place. . . . Therefore, even if the Court were to find there was a conflict under ABA Model Rule 1.9, the Court would find [counsel's] screening protocol sufficient as a means of avoiding imputing any such conflict to the entire firm."

Adaptix, Inc. v. Dell Inc. et al., 6-13-cv-00437 (TXED February 12, 2014, Order) (Craven, M.J.)

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