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Silicon Graphics, Inc. v. ATI Technologies, Inc.
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
741 F. Supp. 2d 970 (2010)
Law firm Morgan, Lewis and Bockius (Morgan) filed a patent-infringement action against ATI Technologies, Inc. (ATI) (defendant) on behalf of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (Silicon) (plaintiff). Morgan partner David Leichtman worked on the case. A jury returned a verdict for Silicon. While the case was on appeal, Leichtman joined the New York office of Robins Kaplan (Robins). Robins’s Minneapolis office represented ATI in Silicon’s lawsuit. The case was remanded, and Silicon moved to disqualify Robins. Robins argued that Leichtman performed relatively little work for Silicon and Robins used screening procedures to prevent the disclosure of confidential information. Robins offered proof that before Leichtman started, team members were instructed not to discuss the case with Leichtman or in his presence, Leichtman was denied access to records and instructed not to provide team members with information about the case, and Leichtman would not receive any compensation derived from the case. Leichtman and the team members filed declarations stating no discussions had occurred with Leichtman or in his presence and Leichtman had not reviewed any case records. A computer analysis showed that Leichtman had not attempted to access electronic records. Silicon argued that Leichtman performed so much work on the case that screening could not be used to rebut the presumption that Leichtman shared or would share confidences with the Robins lawyers.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Crabb, J.)
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