In Re Emily Liebnow v. Boston Enterprises Inc. d/b/a Giacomo’s, U.S. Foodservice, Tanimura & Antle Fresh Foods, Inc. et. al.

“The closed mouth catches no flies” – B. Franklin. This case involves the disqualification of an entire firm based on an unwaivable conflict of interest. Defense counsel had a friendly relationship with an out-of-state plaintiff’s Firm specializing in e-coli cases and consulted with a lawyer at the Firm about an e-coli case. Defense counsel followed some of his advice. In the same case, Plaintiff hired a different lawyer from the same Firm. The trial court denied pro hac vice admission, effectively disqualifying the Firm. The Court upheld the trial court’s ruling that under the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) an unwaivable conflict was created under RPC 1.7, and that RPC 1.10 imputed that conflict to the entire firm. The Court also held that RPC 1.7 conflicts apply to third parties, and here the conflict was unwaivable becase it undermined the fairness of the proceedings.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2012/12SA83.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8823&courtid=2

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Filed under Appellate Review Challenged, Attorney Regulation, Personal Injury, Torts

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