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Brennan’s Restaurants, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
590 F.2d 168 (1979)


Facts

The Brennans were a well-established, New Orleans, Louisiana-based family that owned and operated restaurants in Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia. Brennan family members were stockholders and directors in Brennan’s, Inc. (plaintiff) and Brennan’s Restaurants, Inc. (defendant) and both companies were represented by attorney Edward Wegmann. Wegmann assisted in obtaining trademarks for the two companies. In 1973, several Brennan family members had a falling out and the two companies were restructured so that one set of family members were sole stockholders in Brennan’s, Inc. and another set of family members were sole stockholders in Brennan’s Restaurants. However, there was no discussion or agreement as to which company would receive the trademarks. Thereafter, Wegmann decided to sever ties with plaintiff and solely represented defendant. Plaintiff filed suit in federal district court against defendant for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Wegmann hired a patent attorney, Arnold Sprung, to assist him in the defense. Plaintiff moved to disqualify Wegmann and Sprung as counsel. The district court granted the motion. Defendant appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Tjoflat, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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