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What to Do When You're Kicked Off a Case

It's embarrassing to get fired, and even more so when it's executed in public.

Then there's the ultimate dismal dismissal, when a judge kicks you off a case. There's no place to hide when it becomes part of the record.

So what do you do when you get booted from a case? The lawyers at Frey Buck in Seattle did it like a boss.

Glass Art

Anne Bremner, a well-known local lawyer, was representing a man in a civil case against a famous artist. Dale Chihuly pioneered glass art in the 1960s, and the plaintiff claimed that Chihuly failed to credit him for artistic contributions.

Michael Moi said he collaborated on pieces that Chihuly sold for millions of dollars. The artist said Moi did no artistic work for him, but instead did handyman jobs at his studio.

Chihuly's lawyers filed a motion to disqualify Bremner and her firm, Frey Buck, because the she had settled other cases against the artist. They said Bremner had confidential information and was using it against them in the case.

"While counsel's initial access to the privileged information may not have been wrongful, there is no dispute regarding its privileged nature," Judge Robert Lasnik said in granting the motion.

No Appeal

The opposing counsel had litigated the issue in the press, announcing in a press release that Frey Buck had confidentially settled similar cases against the artist for "substantial sums." Bremner responded in court, but was not immediately available to reporters for comment after the ruling.

Ted Buck, a firm founder, said they did not plan to appeal. He said it was not clear whether the information was privileged, but they respected the judge's decision.

Before filing the lawsuit, Moi also threatened to disclose information about Chihuly's mental health unless the artist paid him. According to reports, the artist suffers from bipolar disease.

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