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GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. v. BabyCenter, L.L.C., No. 09-2790

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By FindLaw Staff on August 19, 2010 11:47 AM

GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. v. BabyCenter, L.L.C., No. 09-2790, involved petitioner's appeal from the district court's order granting a motion to disqualify petitioner's counsel.  The court affirmed on the ground that counsel represented respondent's parent company, respondent and the parent company were so closely related that they were essentially one client for disqualification purposes, and counsel had thus engaged in concurrent representation, which it could not do without the parent company's consent.

As the court wrote:  "GSI Commerce Solutions, Inc. ("GSI") appeals from Judge Rakoff's order granting a motion by BabyCenter, LLC ("BabyCenter"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. ("J&J"), to disqualify Blank Rome, LLP, as GSI's counsel. The court concluded that the doctrine forbidding concurrent representation without consent applies because the relationship between BabyCenter and J&J, which Blank Rome represents in other matters, is so close that the two are essentially one client for disqualification purposes. The district court therefore disqualified Blank Rome from representing GSI in the instant matter because the law firm had not obtained consent from J&J."

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