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Analytica, Inc. v. NPD Research, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
708 F.2d 1263 (2003)


Facts

NPD, Inc. (NPD) (defendant), a market research firm, desired to transfer stock shares to Malec, one of the firm’s three co-owners. NPD authorized Malec to hire a lawyer to coordinate the transfer. Malec hired an attorney with the firm of Schwartz & Freeman. NPD provided the attorney with information about the company’s finances and paid the bill for the attorney’s services. Malec left NPD. Later, Malec and his wife, also a former employee of NPD, formed a competing market research company named Analytica, Inc. (Analytica) (plaintiff). Analytica hired Schwartz & Freeman to prosecute anticompetitive behavior claims against NPD. Schwartz & Freeman hired a second firm to serve as trial counsel. Upon motion by NPD, the court ordered both firms disqualified and additionally ordered Schwartz & Freeman to pay $25,000 to NPD for contesting the disqualification. The law firms appealed the disqualification orders.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Posner, J.)

Dissent (Coffey, J.)

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