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Worldspan, L.P. v. Sabre Group Holdings, Inc.
United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
5 F. Supp. 2d 1356 (1998)
A law firm (the firm) served as counsel for Worldspan, L.P. (plaintiff) in state tax matters in Georgia and Tennessee. The firm’s standard engagement letter contained language stating that because of the firm’s size, a dispute could arise in which Worldspan’s interests would be adverse to those of another client, and that Worldspan agreed that the firm would not be precluded from representing that other client so long as the adverse matter was not substantially related to the firm’s work for Worldspan and the firm did not use confidential information obtained from Worldspan to Worldspan’s disadvantage. The engagement letter further stated that Worldspan had been advised that the firm had been counsel to American Airlines and other airlines and did not believe its representations of any of those carriers conflicted with its representation of Worldspan. More than five years later, Worldspan filed a tort action against Sabre Group Holdings, Inc. (Sabre) (defendant). Sabre was owned 80 percent by AMR Corporation (AMR), which also owned American Airlines. The firm undertook to represent Sabre in the Worldspan litigation. Both the Worldspan litigation and the tax matters involved Worldspan’s computer airline-reservations system. Sabre consented to the concurrent representations. Worldspan objected and moved to disqualify the firm from representing Sabre. The firm argued that the engagement letter sent to Worldspan five years earlier constituted prospective consent to the dual representation.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Moye, J.)
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