Eastman Kodak Co. v. Sony Corp.
United States District Court for the Western District of New York
2004 WL 2984297 (2004)
Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP (Woods), was a law firm in Rochester, New York. Kodak (plaintiff) was the area’s largest employer. Woods had actively sought to avoid representing Kodak in order to be able to represent other entities in the region without conflicts of interest. One of Woods’ clients was Heidelberg Digital, LLC (Heidelberg). While Woods was representing Heidelberg, including in two employment-discrimination suits, Kodak acquired Heidelberg. Heidelberg became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kodak, and Kodak’s legal department assumed responsibility for all Heidelberg legal matters, including the two employment-discrimination suits. After this acquisition, one of Woods’ partners became the local counsel for two clients in proceedings in which Kodak was the opposing party, one of which was a patent-infringement suit in which the Woods partner was representing Sony Corp. (defendant) against Kodak. Kodak requested that the partner withdraw from representing the two clients that were adverse to Kodak. Woods refused and offered instead to withdraw from representing Kodak in the two employment-discrimination suits. Kodak rejected this offer and filed motions to have the Woods partner disqualified from both of the proceedings in which Kodak was the opposing party.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Feldman, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 687,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 687,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 42,900 briefs, keyed to 988 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.