Friday, September 11, 2015

No Disqualification of Counsel for Conflict Imputed From Former Law Firm

The court denied defendants' motion to disqualify plaintiff's counsel, who left the firm that initially represented plaintiff, because there was no imputed disqualification and their prior representation of defendants on patent matters was not substantially related to the current action. "[I]t is possible that some of the patent applications that [plaintiff's original law firm's] lawyers were pursuing on behalf of Plaintiff were 'directly adverse' to the Defendants' interests. There is no evidence, however, that any of [plaintiff's current] lawyers, as prohibited by Rule 1.10(a)(l), 'knowingly'' represented Plaintiff at a time when they had any reason to believe (let alone knowledge) that there was a conflict with another client's interests. . . . When [plaintiff's current] lawyers left [the original firm], they left any imputed disqualifications behind them. . . . Although [plaintiff's current] attorneys' prior representation of Defendants involved matters relating to patent litigation, it involved different patents and different products. . . . At most, Defendants disclosed their general strategy for handling patent litigation, which is not enough to warrant disqualification."

Sonos, Inc. v. D&M Holdings Inc. d/b/a The D+M Group et al, 1-14-cv-01330 (DED September 9, 2015, Order) (Andrews, J.)

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