Horvitz & Levy's reversal of order disqualifying class-action defense counsel draws media attention.
May 4, 2010
Horvitz & Levy LLP’s recent win in Kirk v. First American Title Company (2010) has drawn widespread media coverage. The opinion is significant because the California Court of Appeal ruled that an entire law firm is not automatically disqualified whenever one attorney at that firm possesses confidential information relating to a case. The Court of Appeal held that courts should presume that the attorney’s knowledge of client confidences has been shared with others, but the law firm can rebut the presumption by presenting evidence that the law firm adequately screened the attorney from those representing the adverse party.
Press stories covering the Kirk decision include:
Is the New Special Ethics Exception Only for Big Firms? The Daily Journal, April 23, 2010
Appeals Court Rejects Automatic Vicarious Disqualification Rule, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, April 9, 2010
Legal Profession: Kirk v. First American Title Insurance Company, Cal Law, April 8, 2010
Court Eases Conflict Rules for Firms, The Daily Journal, April 8, 2010
Panel says firms can wall off conflicted lawyers, The Recorder, April 8, 2010
California Court Recognizes Ethics Screens As Method of Avoiding Firms’ Disqualification, BNA Class Action Reporter, April 7, 2010