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Minority-Owned Firm Disqualified in Contamination Class Action

Sept. 29, 2022, 8:19 PM

A minority-owned law firm in Illinois may no longer represent plaintiffs in a proposed class action over radioactive contamination allegedly caused by a landfill.

Judge Catherine D. Perry of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri disqualified plaintiff’s attorney James F. Clayborne Jr. and his firm, Clayborne & Wagner LLP, for having previously represented two defendants in the case, creating a potential conflict of interest.

Even though the prior representation didn’t involve the same transactions or witnesses, it “nevertheless exposed Clayborne to and brought him into defendants’ intimate negotiation strategies,” Perry said in a ruling Wednesday.

Clayborne ...