Posts tagged "1203317"

Hlatky v. Horowitz, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-033-17)

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT. 1484CV03733-____________________ BLS2 LYNN HLATKY, Ph.D. v. DAVID HOROWITZ an_d_ G__E_N__E_S__Y_S_ _R_E__S_E_A__R CH INSTITUTE, INC. MEMORANDUM AND ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DISQUALITY GRI’S COUNSEL Plaintiff Lynn Hlatky, Ph.D., has moved to disqualify the law firm Lynch Brewer Hoffman & Fink, LLP, from continuing to represent GeneSys Research Institute, Inc., (“GRI”) in this matter. Dr. Hlatky’s claims in this lawsuit arise from her work at GRI as a principal investigator and director of a cancer research laboratory; Hlatky left GRI in September 2014. Attorney John Dennis, who is a Lynch Brewer partner, served as GRI’s lawyer while Dr. Hlatky worked there. Hlatky says Lynch Brewer should be disqualified because Dennis represented her at the same time he was representing GRI, and did so on a matter that is substantially related to the matters in dispute in this lawsuit. The Court is not convinced that Dr. Hlatky and Mr. Dennis had an actual or implied attorney-client relationship. In any case, Dr. Hlatky has not shown that Mr. Dennis learned any confidences from Dr. Hlatky that would be relevant to this litigation. The Court will therefore DENY the motion to disqualify. “Motions to disqualify” the lawyers and law firm representing a party to litigation “must be considered in light of the principle that courts ‘should not lightly interrupt the relationship between a lawyer and her client.’ ” G.D. Mathews & Sons Corp. v. MSN Corp., 54 Mass. App. Ct. 18, 20 (2002), quoting Adoption of Erica, 426 Mass. 55, 58 (1997). “Disqualification has very serious consequences for both client and lawyer.” Adoption of Erica, supra, at 65 n.11, quoting 1 G.C. Hazard & W.W. Hodes, The Law of Lawyering § 1.9:112, at 304 (2d ed. 1990). Thus, “disqualification, as a prophylactic device protecting the attorney-client relationship, is a drastic measure [that] courts should hesitate to impose except when absolutely necessary.” Id. at 58, quoting Masiello v. Perini Corp., 394 Mass. 842, 848 (1985). It is not needed here. – 2 – Dr. Hlatky has not shown that she had any attorney-client relationship with Attorney Dennis. It is undisputed that during the relevant period Dr. Hlatky knew that Attorney Dennis was counsel for GRI, and Hlatky had retained her own lawyer at the firm Todd & Weld to represent her personal interests vis-à-vis GRI. Hlatky has not produced any contemporaneous documentation suggesting that Dennis ever agreed to serve as her personal attorney, that Hlatky believed he had done so, or that Hlatky was ever billed for any services provided by Dennis. To the contrary, throughout their email exchanges in late 2013 and early 2014 both Hlatky and Dennis repeatedly refer to Dennis as GRI’s attorney, and never […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 3, 2017 at 8:06 pm

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