Beamer wrote on Jan 24, 2012, 09:33:
Veterator - no, your theory does not work. It's very rare that a law firm goes after both sides. If a law firm defends someone distributing tainted beef it does not go after people that distribute tainted beef and vice versa. Firms, and lawyers, tend to either defend or go after. While each makes exceptions to this based upon the circumstances, law firms specialize in things, and it's difficult to specialize in working with corporations and working against them, even from a mere standpoint of justifying to your clients why you do this. People would not want a firm famous for getting a corporation off helping them take a similar one down. Corporations would not want to get cozy with a firm famous for taking their peers down.
It's not that the law firm essentially knows that they've dealt with the company directly. It could be a subsidiary that does advertising under another name. But both companies being blanketed by the same parent corporation.
It could be on something where they are going after someone who is using or messing with their trademark. A really small subsidiary, which would appear to be a small business and they tie up a firm who represents small businesses and/or individuals in fighting the big guys.
A corporation wouldn't necessarily want to be cozy with them, just have them unable to act against them. And conflict of interest is a way to get that accomplished. I suspect it's why you see a lot of virtually unknown lawyers taking cases, because they are not mired in the conflicts of interest through any firm like more established lawyers would be.
Hell the Erin Brockovich case the movie was based on had a different form of conflict of interest in which the judges were known to have associated with the lawyers involved.
But hiring lawyers to do small tasks is a fairly cheap way to avoid issues with them in the future, they'd have to fight the conflict of interest claim before they could even start with the actual issue at hand.
So I think my theory holds up fine. Corporations are basically sociopaths, you can't assume they don't do any underhanded thing they can to get an edge. In this case, legally preventing the ability of people to present the best defense possible by taking the top lawyer out of the equation. Once they name the client claiming conflict, then we'll know. Im betting it doesn't get announced.