Apple Legal Team Disqualification Call From Samsung
And the mobile tech giants continue to throw their toys out of the pram in their continuing dispute over patent infringement lawsuits, as the Apple against Samsung fight continues to play out the latest move by Sammy is to demand that Apple’s legal team are dismissed due to “conflict of interest.”
According to the guys over at Slash Gear, by way of FOSSPatents, old Sammy claims that Apple’s law firm Bridges & Mavrakakis happened to be co-founded by someone who apparently represented Samsung whilst with a previous company along with others in the lawyer team.
The 20 page long motion claims that five of Apple’s legal team including Kenneth Bridges have previously represented Samsung and thus has “privileges and confidential” knowledge about Samsung that could be used in the legal battle with Apple.
Samsung further argues that this fact “taints all attorneys at Bridges & Mavrakakis through imputation,” and goes further by demanding the 2 other law firms involved with the case Wilmer Hale and Morrison & Foerster “provide affidavits confirming they have not received any Samsung confidential information from attorneys at Bridges & Mavrakakis.”
However, apparently Samsungs filing does state that the aforementioned attorneys do not believe there is a conflict of interest, the reason for which they say is “prior representation of Samsung was not substantially related to the current matter.”
A quote from Samsung’s filing says, “Samsung does not bring this motion lightly. It recognizes the importance of allowing litigants in most cases to be represented by counsel of their own choice. In this case, however, Apple retained Samsung’s former counsel to litigate against Samsung. It is inevitable that Samsung’s confidential information–including not only the legal strategies implemented by Samsung in a prior litigation, but also other accumulated insights such as the decision-making tendencies and pressure points of Samsung’s internal legal team–will be used to advance Apple’s interests against Samsung in this litigation.”
So far Apple hasn’t responded to Samsung’s accusations but no doubt they will respond in due course and fight the right to maintain its choice of legal representation. Apparently a hearing date has been set for the 18th of August when a judge will determine whether Samsung’s claims hold water or not.
Tactics within tactics it appears to me, not being legal minded I can’t really comment on whether lawyers who have worked for a company previously can be determined as having a conflict of interest, as no doubt the law firms have many clients on their books, still that’s up to the judge to decide.