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Tag: Disqualification

May 24, 2011

Orange County Water District v. The Arnold Engineering Company

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The Fourth District would not disqualify a law firm representing a public entity under a contingency fee agreement because the action was not brought on the public’s behalf, but in the entity’s own name to recover compensatory damages. The Orange County Water District incurred costs to investigate contamination in groundwater aquifers.  It retained Miller, Axline […]

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May 16, 2011

Oasis West Realty, LLC v. Goldman (2011) 51 Cal.4th 811

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Download Publication The California Supreme Court overrules a Court of Appeal decision granting an anti‑SLAPP motion where an attorney acted adversely to his former client with respect to an ongoing matter that was the precise subject of his prior representation. Oasis West Realty (“Oasis Realty”) retained Reed Smith partner Goldman to represent it in its […]

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May 5, 2011

Schimmel v. Levin (May 5, 2011, C.A. 3rd Dist., Case No. C063214)

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Download Publication The Third District holds a trial court may strike a petition to compel arbitration after it determined the attorney who filed the petition was disqualified due to possession of confidential information adverse to the opposing party. Leon Schimmel served as medical director for Community Health Associates Medical Group (“Community Health”) from 1995 through […]

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April 6, 2011

Liberty National Enterprises, LP v. Chicago Title Insurance Co. (2011) 194 Cal.App.4th 839

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The Second District holds that a delayed motion to disqualify filed after counsel had achieved partial success on the merits, and premised on unrelated prior representation, was properly denied. Liberty National Enterprises, L.P. (Liberty) retained Donald McDougal to sue its title insurer, Chicago Title Insurance Company (Chicago), for bad faith.  After two years of litigation […]

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March 22, 2011

Banning Ranch Conservancy v. Superior Court (City of Newport Beach) (2011) 193 Cal.App. 4th 903

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The Fourth District holds that a “framework” fee agreement designed to expedite future engagements did not create an open-ended disqualifying attorney-client relationship. Banning Ranch Conservancy (Conservancy) retained Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger (the Shute firm) to challenge the City of Newport Beach’s (City) plan to build a four-lane divided highway on its land.  The City filed […]

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January 18, 2011

Kullar v. Foot Locker Retail, Inc. (2011) 191 Cal.App.4th 1201

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Download Publication The First District holds attorneys representing putative class members in one case, and objecting class members in a related case, were not disqualified for representing conflicting interests in the two cases.  Qualls & Workman, L.L.P. (Q & W) successfully prosecuted an appeal on behalf of three objectors, including Crystal Echeverria, of a trial […]

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July 27, 2010

Great Lakes Construction, Inc. v. Burman (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 1347

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Download Publication The Second District holds that a party has no standing to seek disqualification of an opponent’s attorney absent a prior attorney-client or other confidential relationship with that attorney.    Maartje Burman posted internet comments criticizing Great Lakes Construction, Inc. and Hampton Builders for their work on her home remodeling project.  They filed suit alleging libel, […]

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July 16, 2010

Montgomery v. Superior Court (Knight) (2010) 186 Cal.App.4th 1051

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Download Publication The Fourth District holds that an expert, who was a former client of an opposing attorney, need not be disqualified as long as the expert provides a written conflict waiver. Laura and Douglas Montgomery retained John M.  Shamoun, M.D.  to testify about the standard of care in their medical malpractice action against physician […]

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October 30, 2008

In Re Charlisse C. (2008) 45 Cal.4th 145

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Download Publication The Supreme Court holds that in the context of a public law office, a flexible case-by-case inquiry into whether client confidences are protected will apply to disqualification motions in cases of successive representation.   The Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) filed a petition alleging that six-day-old Charlisse came within […]

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August 4, 2008

McMillan v. Shadow Ridge at Oak Park Homeowner’s Assn. (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 960

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Download Publication The Second District holds that there was no improper contact when an attorney spoke to a pro per litigant who was being assisted by counsel. Denise McMillan sued the Shadow Ridge at Oak Park Homeowner’s Association, who was represented by Nicolas Paulos and his firm.  McMillan’s attorney filed a dismissal after an oral […]

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