Disclosing Confidential Information in Prior Infringement Case Consultation​ Does Not Warrant Disqualification

The court denied defendant’s motion to disqualify plaintiff’s counsel based on defendant’s prior consultation with plaintiff’s counsel regarding another infringement case. “⁠[Defendant’s president] stated in his Declaration that he ‘only disclosed . . . confidential business information [to the attorney at issue] because [he] understood and expected that an attorney would hold such information in strict confidence.’ However . . . [t]he parties participated in one [ten-minute] telephone conversation about [the attorney’s] potential representation of [defendant] in [another copyright infringement case]. [The attorney] participated in the phone call to obtain ‘the information necessary to evaluate potential conflicts and secure [defendant’s] agreement.’ After the telephone call, [the attorney] sent [defendant’s president] a retainer agreement, which [the attorney] never signed, and ran a conflicts check. Two weeks later, [the attorney] informed [defendant] that [the attorney’s firm] could not represent it in the [other copyright infringement case]. Neither [the attorney] nor [defendant] assert that [the attorney] spent time performing work for [defendant] in the [other copyright infringement case]. Further, it was not until after [defendant] retained new counsel and three months of litigation in the instant case . . . that [defendant] moved to disqualify [the attorney’s firm].”

Standard Fabrics International, Inc. v. Nordstrom, Inc. et al, 2-17-cv-04811 (CACD 2018-02-08, Order) (S. James Otero)

2018-02-12T12:53:03+00:00February 12th, 2018|Copyright, Docket Report|