Tuesday, April 26, 2005

COULD WE SEE THE CONFLICT BULLETIN AGAIN? (From Law.com) During its ongoing patent litigation action against XFire, Yahoo officials were rather surprised when they walked into a meeting to discuss the company's infringement suit, and found that Xfire had brought along its attorneys, who happen to be from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.

Why the surprise? Funny you should ask - DLA is also representing Yahoo subsidiary Overture Services Inc. in a separate matter. Predictably, Yahoo asserted a conflict of interest and asked DLA to withdraw as Xfire's counsel.

DLA refused to do so.

Yahoo's attorney, Michael Jacobs, a partner at Morrison & Foerster, was not available for comment. But in a recent court filing, he pointed out that Yahoo's associate general counsel is managing the litigation against Xfire as well as DLA's Overture case.

As the article explains:

The alleged conflict arose as a result of Piper Rudnick's merger with Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich and then DLA. Piper Rudnick originally represented Overture, and Gray Cary was counsel to Xfire before Yahoo filed its suit against the online gaming company for infringement in January. DLA contends that Overture and Yahoo are separate entities, so there is no conflict in being adverse to one and counsel to the other.

got that?

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