Samsung wants number of Apple lawyers disqualified over conflict of interest

Tue, Jul 12, 2011

Legal, News

The ongoing legal battle between Samsung and Apple continues to take interesting turns. Recently, FOSS Patents reports on a 20 page filing from Samsung that looks to have a number of Apple’s lawyers disqualified from the case on grounds that they previously represented Samsung while under previous employ.

The gist of it is that Samsung wants the recently-founded law firm of Bridges & Mavrakakis barred from the case because at least five of its lawyers — including one of its founders, Kenneth Bridges — previously represented Samsung while they were with another firm, Kirkland & Ellis. Samsung then goes on to argue that this fact “taints all attorneys at Bridges & Mavrakakis through imputation”. But not enough: Samsung additionally demands that Apple’s two other law firms involved with this federal lawsuit (Morrison & Foerster and Wilmer Hale) “provide affidavits confirming they have not received any Samsung confidential information from attorneys at Bridges & Mavrakakis” while those firms were coordinating Apple’s representation so far or, absent such assurance, be disqualified as well.

Apple’s lawyers naturally maintain that their previous work does “not substantially relate to the current matter” and that they will not use any confidential information obtained through their prior representation. Samsung, meanwhile, argues that it’s not about whether or not the lawyers will use said information, but whether or not they “obtained it in the first place.”

Further, Samsung claims that there is, in fact, “overlap” between the work said lawyers did on behalf of Samsung and some of the technologies and patents currently at issue.

Either Apple committed an egregious oversight or Samsung is doing all it can to slow down the proceedings and cause Apple’s legal team as many headaches as possible.



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