CAFC Affirms Disqualification of Defendant’s Attorneys

In re Hyundai Motor Am., 185 Fed. Appx. 940 (Fed. Cir. 2006)

Orion IP has accused dozens of companies of infringement of its business method patents ("computer-assisted sales").  At one point, Orion worked with the Orrick firm on some matters and Orrick made a pitch to handle Orion’s litigation and patent strategy work. Orion demurred.  Once litigation began, Orrick got back in the game by agreeing to represent several of the accused infringers directly adverse to Orion.

The Texas district court noted a conflict-of-interest and disqualified Orrick.  On writ of mandamus, the CAFC affirmed — finding no error.

The parties apparently presented diverging evidence as to the subject-matter of early meetings between Orrick and Orion and the type of documents exchanged.  The CAFC noted that these were purely factual questions that the lower court "resolved in Orion’s favor" without any clear error.

In order to prevail, Hyundai must clearly and indisputably show clear error in the district court’s findings of fact and application of the facts to the law. Hyundai has not carried its burden. This is essentially a factual dispute, which the district court resolved in Orion’s favor. The district court held a hearing, considered the competing declarations, and reviewed the pertinent documents. We do not find a basis for overturning those findings.

Disqualification affirmed.

Notes:

3 thoughts on “CAFC Affirms Disqualification of Defendant’s Attorneys

  1. I wonder if Andrew’s posting on May 8, 2007 was related to AOL?
    “CAFC Affirms Disqualification of Defendant’s Attorneys”
    Andrew posted this comment:
    Dennis, do you do date-based searches on Lexis or Westlaw to catch these? I’m curious how you spot dispositions not reported on the weekly sheets or opinion list.
    Posted by: Andrew Dhuey | May 08, 2007 at 03:30 PM

  2. That’s a lot different than what happened in the Kearns Intermittent Windshield Wiper litigation. In that case Judge Cohn ruled that even though Harness, Dickey & Pierce http://www.hdp.com filed the complaints representing Bob Kearns, he saw no conflict in HD&P representing Chrysler against Kearns.

  3. Dennis, do you do date-based searches on Lexis or Westlaw to catch these? I’m curious how you spot dispositions not reported on the weekly sheets or opinion list.

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