PHOENIX FOUNDERS INC. v. MARSHALL

CASE NAME: PHOENIX FOUNDERS INC. v. MARSHALL

CASE CITATION: 887 S.W.2d 831 (Tex. 1994)

FACTS: Dispute from a suit brought by a company/companies to collect a federal-court judgment against a defendant(s).

ISSUE: Should a law firm be disqualified from an ongoing litigation because it rehired a legal assistant who had worked for an opposing counsel for multiple weeks?

RULE: An adopted standard requires disqualification whenever a counsel undertakes a representation of an interest that is adverse to that of a former client if a matter is embraced in a pending suit are related to a factual matter involved with a previous suit.

ANALYSIS: The Coker rule has been applied in a context of a single attorney or firm representing multiple clients with adverse interests.

CONCLUSION: Rules do not require disqualification of a new law firm if a supervising attorney at a firm complies with the rules to ensure that a nonlawyer’s conduct is compatible with a professional obligation of a lawyer.

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