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Judge Disqualifies Attorney In Business Dispute On Conflict Of Interest Grounds

Defense attorney in business lawsuit has been dismissed by judge on grounds of conflict of interest, due to conflict between individual defendant and corporate codefendant.


Ruling earlier this month in Tricarico v. Baer, 31988-2013, Justice Emily Pines of the Suffolk County Commerical Division, found a conflict existed between an individual defendant and a corporate codefendant, where the attorney for the individual represents the corporate entity in a simultaneous unconnected tort lawsuit.

A conflict existed, Pines said, because the individual was a shareholder of the closely held corporate codefendant, and if the company were dismissed from Pines' case, the individual could be the only remaining party against whom damages could be won.

Although there was no "substantial relationship between the two actions," the conflict between the individual and the attorney's corporate client in the tort action is "significant," because in order to protect the corporate client in the tort case, the individual's attorney would be inclined to support the dismissal of that company in the case before Pines, the judge said, which would be adverse to his individual client.

But Pines said there was no

conflict of interest warranting dismissal of the plaintiff's attorney, who had represented another corporate entity sued in both cases, in which the plaintiff was also a shareholder.

Even though that attorney filed an appearance on behalf of the company in the tort case, the attorney never contacted the shareholder-plaintiff and "never learned any of her confidences," Pines said.

Long Island solo Peter Walsh, who represents corporate defendant JDFB, sought the disqualifications.

Glen Cove solo Barry Dreisman was disqualified from representing defendant Florence Baer.

The motion to disqualify solo James Mulvehill, who represents co-defendant Spa 25, was denied.

Originally posted by Ben Bedell on newyorklawjournal.com.

Attorney Conflict Of Interest Representation - Ball & Bonholtzer Trial Attorney - Los Angeles

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