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Professional Responsibility Keyed to Jefferson
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP v. J-M Manufacturing Co.
Citation:6 Cal. 5th 59 (Cal. 2018)
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP (Petitioner) was a law firm that represented J-M Manufacturing Co. (Respondent). The parties engaged in arbitration over a conflict of interest based on Sheppard Mullin’s simultaneous representation of J-M’s competitor, South Tahoe Public Utility District. Both clients had executed engagement agreements that purported to waive all such conflicts of interest, current or future, but the agreements did not specifically refer to any conflict and the law firm did not tell either client about its representation of the other. However, the arrangement fell apart when South Tahoe discovered the conflict and moved to have Sheppard Mullin disqualified.
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