Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Counsel’s Past Representation of Parent Warrants Disqualification in Litigation Involving Subsidiary

The court granted defendant's motion to disqualify plaintiff's newly substituted counsel and rejected plaintiff's argument that its counsel represented a company other than defendant. "[Plaintiff's counsel] has provided records which indicate that all correspondence was directed to [defendant's parent]. It is undisputed that [the parent] is merely a holdings company and that its subsidiaries are the operating companies. . . . It is evident that the work [counsel] performed at the behest of [the parent] was, in fact, related to [defendant's] technology and, specifically, to the technology at issue in this litigation. . . . Perhaps even more significant is that the inventors of the technology at issue in this litigation were also technically employed by [the parent] even though it is undisputed that the technology belongs to [defendant]. . . . Finally, the Court finds it interesting that many of [counsel's] bills were paid, not by [the parent], but by [another subsidiary]. The fact that the invoices were paid by yet another, separate entity, and the fact that [counsel] did not object to receiving payment in this manner, further supports the conclusion that [the parent] was not [counsel's] true client."

Synchronoss Technologies, Inc. v. Asurion Mobile Applications, Inc., 3-11-cv-05811 (NJD October 11, 2012, Order) (Bongiovanni, M.J.).

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