TQ Delta, LLC v. Pace Americas, LLC et al, 1-13-cv-01835 (DED January 6, 2017, Order) (Andrews, USDJ)
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Conflicts Counsel for Third Party Discovery Must be Walled Off From Trial Counsel
Following an order that plaintiff obtain conflicts counsel to pursue third party discovery from a former client of plaintiff's trial counsel, the court issued a second order addressing how conflicts counsel should function. "I think conflicts counsel in this case should be walled off from [trial counsel's] firm. Conflicts counsel need not be walled off from local counsel. Conflicts counsel may be provided with any and all (unredacted) filings on the docket. . . . On the other hand, conflicts counsel does not get any tutorial from [trial counsel], and does not get any draft [nonparty] discovery. Conflicts counsel, if it needs expert advice beyond that identified above, will need to obtain its own expert(s). . . . The wall will continue at least through the close of discovery, but, it seems to me, it will have to be relaxed at some point before trial, since [trial counsel] will need to be in charge of trying Plaintiffs case. If any [nonparty] witnesses appear at trial, however, any examination (or, more likely, cross-examination) will need to be done by conflicts counsel."