A new battle has been waged in the all-out patent war between Samsung and Apple, and this time Samsung has requested that the Northern District of California disqualify Apple's lawyers on the grounds that they are a former client.
Apparently, five attorneys from Bridges & Mavrakakis, one of the many firms participating as Apple's outside counsel, represented Samsung while previously working for Kirkland & Ellis, giving rise to a potential conflict of interest.
Not only does Samsung assert that these attorneys have "privileged and confidential" information that could be used to Apple's benefit, Techcrunch reports that the company also claims that that this information has been shared with Apple's other outside counsel, requiring their disqualification as well.
That's right, Samsung wants the court to disqualify all of Apple's outside counsel.
So, what is this privileged information?
Samsung told the court that the B&M attorneys advised them on global litigation strategy as well as provided a detailed analysis of Samsung's mobile devices, reports Business Insider.
But Apple doesn't buy it, reports Techcrunch, claiming that technology moves so fast that whatever counsel knows about Samsung is now irrelevant.
Plus, the prior representation was not "substantially related to the current matter."
Putting aside the fact that someone has obviously been reading the Model Rules, B&M probably should have received informed written consent from Samsung under California rules, if only to prevent such a hiccup.
Even so, it hardly makes sense to request disqualification of all of Apple's lawyers on these grounds, as everyone is denying that privileged information has been shared.
- Samsung: Apple's lawyers should be tossed (CNET)
- Apple Legal Dept Stays Busy: Sues Samsung over Phones, Tablets (FindLaw's In House)
- Apple Sues Samsung for Copying the iPhone and iPad (FindLaw's Courtside)