June 28, 2017 Top Story

Insight into Opposing Party’s Business Is a Disqualifier

Past representation will bar involvement in "substantially related" case

Lauren M. Gregory

A federal disqualification order highlights the risks of open-ended "general representation" engagement agreements.

iStockphoto by Getty Images

In Leapfrog Enterprises, Inc. v. Epik Learning, LLC, the court held that an attorney's exposure to a client's confidential information and participation in business decisions bars involvement in new matters where that knowledge could be used against the client. ABA Section of Litigation leaders stress the importance of carefully delineating desired boundaries for each client relationship through engagement agreements, termination letters, and layered conflicts analyses.

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