Leaving South Tahoe: Will Your Advance Conflict Waiver Survive Sheppard Mullin v. J-M Manufacturing?

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Advanced Waivers, Conflicts of Interest, Fee Dispute, IP Ethics, Legal EthicsLeave a Comment

On Friday, August 30, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled that a blanket advanced conflict waiver signed by two current clients, which purported to authorize lawyers from Sheppard Mullin to accept an unrelated representation of one client adverse to another, was void against public policy because the firm failed to obtain informed consent.  Even though the engagement agreement was legally … Read More

Advanced Conflict Of Interest Waivers: Tricks Or Treats? (Part 2)

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of InterestLeave a Comment

Guessing wrong about the enforceability of an advanced conflict waiver could lead to unexpectedly bad consequences.  One doomsday scenario is illustrated by a recent California immediate appellate court decision in the case of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing, 244 Cal.App.4th 590 (2016). Sheppard Mullin represented J-M Manufacturing (“J-M”) in a Qui Tam litigation.  The Qui Tam action alleged … Read More

Mega Firm Withdraws From Patent Infringement Suit After Former Client Alleges Conflict of Interest

Michael E. McCabe, Jr.Conflicts of Interest, Patent Litigation EthicsLeave a Comment

On September 29, 2014, K&L Gates voluntarily withdrew as defendant’s counsel in a patent infringement action after the plaintiff asked a California federal district court to disqualify the Am Law 100 firm for a conflict of interest because the firm had previously represented the plaintiff regarding the same patents at issue in the litigation. See Cyber Switching Patents, LLC v. … Read More