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Tag: Conflicts

October 28, 2016

Walker v. Apple, Inc. 16 C.D.O.S. 11477

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Download Publication The Fourth District holds a law firm’s concurrent representation of a class representative and, in a separate action, an unnamed but identified class member with conflicting interests results in automatic disqualification. Brandon Felczer, represented by Hogue & Belong, filed a wage-and-hour class action against Apple. The Felczer trial court certified six subclasses of […]

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October 28, 2016

Drakes Bay Oyster Company v. California Coastal Commission (2016) 4 Cal.App.5th 1165

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Download Publication The First District holds due process requires individual attorneys from the same government agency not serve as both advocates and advisors.  Agency attorneys acting in these roles must be screened from each other, and advocates from the decision makers, to avoid biasing an impartial decision maker.  However, once the decision is final, and […]

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March 28, 2016

Radcliffe v. Hernandez (9th Cir. 2016) 818 F.3d 537

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Download Publication The Ninth Circuit holds courts need not apply conflict of interest automatic disqualification rules applicable to individual litigant cases in class actions in favor of a more flexible “balancing of interests” approach. “White Plaintiffs,” named class members, were represented by “White Counsel.”  A different set of class representatives in a related separate case, […]

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March 17, 2016

Costello v. Buckley (2016) 245 Cal.App.4th 748

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Download Publication The Fourth District holds disqualification is proper in successive representation cases even if the matters have no substantial relationship to each other where the client proves the attorney actually received confidential information in the prior representation that is or could be pertinent to the later representation. Robert Buckley represented Leslie Costello in an […]

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December 30, 2015

M’Guinness v. Johnson (2015) 243 Cal.App.4th 602

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Download Publication The Sixth District holds a law firm’s open-ended agreement, evergreen retainer, and control over corporate records indicated a concurrent attorney-client relationship with a corporate client, and disqualification in a shareholder dispute was proper. James M’Guinness, Steven Johnson, and Scott Stuart each owned one-third of the outstanding stock of TLC, and each was an […]

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August 6, 2015

Coldren v. Hart, King & Coldren, Inc. (2015)239 Cal.App.4th 237

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Download Publication The Fourth District holds a shareholder in a non-derivative suit against a corporation does not have standing to disqualify an attorney representing another shareholder and the corporation, and there was no actual conflict of interest between the shareholder and the corporation being represented by the same attorney. Hart, King & Coldren, Inc. (HKC) […]

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June 24, 2015

Castaneda v. Sup. Ct. (Perrin Bernard Supowitz) 2015 WL 3892154

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Download Publication The Second District concludes a firm is disqualified if one of its members previously received confidential information as a volunteer settlement officer, even if the firm establishes screening procedures. Jesus Castaneda sued his employer for wrongful termination and related claims. He participated in a mandatory settlement conference where Elsa Bañuelos, senior counsel at […]

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March 2, 2015

Acacia Patent Acquisition, LLC v. Superior Court (Reddy), 2015 WL 851517

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Download Publication The Fourth District concludes a non-client was entitled to disqualify its opponent’s counsel.  Shared Memory Graphics LLC (SM) hired attorneys Floyd & Buss (F&B) to pursue patent infringement litigation against various electronics firms.  In a second action, F&B hired AlvaradoSmith to arbitrate attorney’s fees claims against SM after its case resolved.  F & […]

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February 13, 2015

Western Sugar Coop v Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., 98 F.Supp.3d 1074 (C.D. Cal., 2015)

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Download Publication The Central District disqualifies a merged law firm due to concurrent and consecutive representation of clients with adverse interests Sugar industry companies (“Sugar Plaintiffs”) sued corn-refining companies over false advertising. The Sugar Plaintiffs commenced the lawsuit with Squire Sanders & Dempsey, LLP (“Squire Sanders”) as their counsel.  After the lawsuit was underway, Squire […]

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November 6, 2014

Lynn v. Gateway Unified School District, 771 F.3d 1135 (9th Cir. 2014)

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Download Publication The Ninth Circuit holds a disqualification order is not a collateral order subject to immediate appeal.  Jody Thulin’s superiors at the Gateway Unified School District decided she was not a good fit for an administrative team and recommended she be returned to a teaching position.  Thulin resigned and filed suit against the District […]

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