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Stratagem Development Corp. v. Heron International N.V.

756 F. Supp. 789 (1991)

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Stratagem Development Corp. v. Heron International N.V.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

756 F. Supp. 789 (1991)

Facts

The law firm Epstein, Becker & Green (Epstein) represented Stratagem Development Corp. (Stratagem) (plaintiff) in connection with a joint venture with Heron International N.V. (Heron) (defendant). At that time, Epstein also represented a wholly owned subsidiary of Heron, Fidelity Service Corporation (FSC), in connection with labor disputes. After Heron terminated the joint-venture agreement with Stratagem, Epstein notified Heron that Epstein intended to file an action against Heron on behalf of Stratagem and resign from the representation of FSC in the labor-dispute matters. Heron responded that it would be a violation of the New York Code of Professional Responsibility for Epstein to file a suit against Heron. Epstein took the position that there was no conflict in its continued representation of Stratagem. After a further exchange of letters, Baer Marks & Upham advised Epstein that it would be assuming the representation of FSC. Epstein sent the FSC files to Baer Marks & Upham the same day that Heron’s counsel advised the court it would be seeking Epstein’s disqualification. A substitution-of-counsel form was sent but never filed. Shortly after Epstein filed the complaint against Heron, Heron moved to disqualify Epstein from representing Stratagem.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Kram, J.)

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