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Advance Conflict Waiver Fails, Costing Firm Its Fees

Feb. 11, 2016, 5:00 AM

The law firm Sheppard Mullin cannot recover its contractual fee or even quantum meruit for representing a defendant in a huge qui tam action while the firm was simultaneously representing one of the plaintiffs in unrelated matters, the California Court of Appeal, Second District, declared Jan. 29 (Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Mfg. Co., 2016 BL 24241, No. B256314, Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist., 1/29/16).

The ruling raises the specter of big losses for law firms as they struggle to meet traditional conflicts rules in an era of increasingly large firms and lateral hires that...

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