Posted by: Patricia Salkin | July 17, 2011

Law Firm Not Disqualified Where Partners Represented Plaintiff and Defendant in Matters Not Substantially Related

An issue arose over the professional conduct of a law firm when the defendant filed a motion to disqualify the plaintiff’s counsel alleging that the partner of the plaintiff’s attorney was either currently representing or had represented the defendant regarding the project that is now the subject of the present case, and that created an impermissible conflict of interest. The court determined that the partner was not currently representing the defendant, and that Rule 1.9(a) and not Rule 1.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct applied. The Partner had represented the defendant in the zoning approval process, and the plaintiff’s attorney is representing the plaintiff in a breach of contract claim. The Court determined that the matters were not substantially related since zoning approval is not relevant to the current breach of contract claim, nor would any confidential material the partner had be helpful to the plaintiff’s attorney. Therefore, the Court held that the defendant did not meet the burden of showing that the plaintiff’s counsel should be disqualified. 

Sullivan Const. Co., LLC v. Seven Bridges Found., Inc., FSTCV106005404S, 2011 WL 1032250 (Conn. Super. Ct. 2/22/2011)

The opinion can be accessed at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ct-superior-court/1560630.html


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