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State ex rel. Verizon West Virginia, Inc. v. Matish

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
740 S.E. 2d 84 (2013)


The law firm of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC (Steptoe) previously represented two clients in wrongful terminations suits against Verizon (defendant). In both of those cases, the parties entered into protective orders that secured the confidentiality of documents and reached settlement through confidential settlement agreements that imposed confidentiality obligations on the parties. Steptoe subsequently brought this similar action on behalf of a group of similarly situated clients (plaintiffs). One of the Steptoe attorneys, Mr. Rector, indicated that Steptoe might draw upon documents produced in discovery during the previous two cases in these proceedings. Verizon filed a motion to disqualify Steptoe as the plaintiffs’ counsel because of Steptoe’s duty to maintain the confidentiality of information under the previous cases protective orders and settlement agreements.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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