Samsung argues some of Apple's legal team should be disqualified

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
In its ongoing legal battle with Apple, Samsung has asked a court to disqualify at least some of Apple's legal team, alleging a conflict of interest.



The latest twist was revealed in a new 20-page motion filed by Samsung and discovered by Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents. In it, Samsung asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to disqualify some, or potentially all, of Apple's legal team due to an alleged conflict of interest.



"The gist of it is that Samsung wants the recently-founded law firm of Bridges & Mavrakakis barred from the case because at least five of its lawyers -- including one of its founders, Kenneth Bridges -- previously represented Samsung while they were with another firm, Kirkland & Ellis," Mueller wrote.



"Samsung then goes on to argue that this fact 'taints all attorneys at Bridges & Mavrakakis through imputation.'"



The filing then goes on to demand that the two other firms involved with the suit -- Morrison & Foerester and Wilmer Hale -- provide affidavits confirming they have not received "confidential information" about Samsung from the other attorneys at Bridges & Mavrakakis.



Apple's attorneys reportedly believe that there is no conflict of interest because their prior representation with Samsung was not "substantially related" to the current conflict, in which Apple has accused Samsung of copying the look and feel of devices like the iPhone and iPad. The attorneys said that any confidential information from their previous arrangement will not play a part in the current conflict with Apple



"Samsung, however, argues that the relevant legal criterion is not whether they intended to use that information but whether they have obtained it in the first place," Mueller wrote. He added in his analysis that it's possible "someone might have made an error in judgment somewhere."



The latest development in the ongoing legal battle comes as Apple's chief patent lawyer is set to leave the company within the next month. Though both stories broke on Tuesday, there is no indication that they are in any way related.



Richard "Chip" Lutton Jr. is expected to leave Apple soon as chief patent counsel and vice president. He has been replaced in that role by B.J. Watrous, former deputy general counsel at Hewlett Packard.



While Samsung is now using corporate secrets for its defense, Apple has touted its own secrecy in previous filings made in the ongoing dispute.



Apple requested in court to see prototypes of Samsung's forthcoming, already-announced hardware, and Samsung responded in kind, asking the court to see Apple's next-generation iPhone and iPad. But Apple noted that the products it requested to see -- including a Samsung Galaxy S II -- have already been announced, while its own future products are shrouded in secrecy until they are publicly announced.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Can't win the actual argument? Ignore it and just go after the people behind the other side!



  • Reply 2 of 43
    Something tells me that lawyers on both sides are just milking their clients at $500/hr per attorney, without really trying to resolve anything.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    That makes Apple's claims sound potentially even more relevant coming from an IP perspective. Yikes. They could be compelled to testify anyway....if there is the potential Samsung says there is.
  • Reply 4 of 43
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 5 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,776member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


    LOL - maybe Apple's new hires are still working for Samsung.



    Or were always working for Apple ...
  • Reply 6 of 43
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,741member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post


    That makes Apple's claims sound potentially even more relevant coming from an IP perspective. Yikes. They could be compelled to testify anyway....if there is the potential Samsung says there is.



    This.



    So far Samsung has done very little except try to dodge the issue.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    t0mat0t0mat0 Posts: 58member
    TIme wasting - they're dragging their heels.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post


    LOL - maybe Apple's new hires are still working for Samsung.



    That's actually what 'conflict of interest' implies here. It's really a bizarre claim.
  • Reply 9 of 43
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Seems like a silly argument.



    One could POSSIBLY argue that attorneys who previously worked for Samsung should not be used, but to argue that no one in the same firm could ever be used is absurd. Someone could simply retain one attorney at each of the top 100 law firms and all the competitors would be out of luck.



    Not to mention that virtually every lawyer would be barred from ever taking a case if that type of relationship were a hindrance. See the six (or is it five or three or seven) degrees of Kevin Bacon.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Something tells me that lawyers on both sides are just milking their clients at $500/hr per attorney, without really trying to resolve anything.



    I would guess it's 3 or 4 times that much /hour. $500/hr is for the cheap ones.
  • Reply 11 of 43
    taigebutaigebu Posts: 9member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post


    That's actually what 'conflict of interest' implies here. It's really a bizarre claim.



    It may be a conflict of interest but one of the partner of this firm worked as...



    Director of Patent Strategy at Apple Inc before founding this firm...



    http://bridgesmav.com/bio_mav.html
  • Reply 12 of 43
    foobarfoobar Posts: 103member
    Wait... they're arguing the opposing attorneys should be disqualified because they might not be giving a 100%?



    The opposing attorneys?



    It's the Chewbacca Defence!
  • Reply 13 of 43
    gwydiongwydion Posts: 1,067member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by foobar View Post


    Wait... they're arguing the opposing attorneys should be disqualified because they might not be giving a 100%?



    Mmmmm, no?
  • Reply 14 of 43
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,270member
    Who cares? More iPhone 5 rumors, please.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    freddychfreddych Posts: 266member
    deleted.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Judge: Why do you want these attorneys disqualified from representing Apple?



    Samsung: There is a very serious conflict of interest which must be eliminated at once.



    Judge: What is this conflict of interest? And why is it so urgent to deal with it now?



    Samsung: We transferred them to Apple to learn all about iPhone 5 and iPad HD. They are supposed to send us drawings and bill of materials.



    Judge: So?



    Samsung: Your honor must have heard iPhone 5 and iPad HD will be released in the fall. The time to learn about these products is now. Being occupied in this case, these attorneys will not be spending enough time at Apple to find out everything we need for our November product launch.



    Judge: I see. Nice black turtleneck, BTW.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    So these lawyers that worked for Samsung have seen or heard stuff that Samsung would be worried about?!...



    Easy fix. Apple, hire a new law team and go to court shouting "Discovery! Discovery! Discovery!" for the lawyers replaced (to the tune of "Developers! Developers! Developers!"

    /

    /

    /
  • Reply 18 of 43
    jimdreamworxjimdreamworx Posts: 1,063member
    Are there any actual attorneys posting here who really understand what is going on?



    Didn't think so.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    jack99jack99 Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Can't win the actual argument? Ignore it and just go after the people behind the other side!







    When you've actually worked in the legal field long enough, you'll know there's often more to the story.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    jack99jack99 Posts: 157member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post


    Something tells me that lawyers on both sides are just milking their clients at $500/hr per attorney, without really trying to resolve anything.



    In big law, $500/hr is generous. Try $1,000-$1,300/hr.



    Not that I'm a fan of high billing.
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