Posts tagged "0901517"

Mooney, et al. v. Diversified Business Communications, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 09-015-17)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT SUCV2016-3726-BLS2 JOHN J. MOONEY and MORGAN D. WHEELOCK, Plaintiffs vs. DIVERSIFIED BUSINESS COMMUNICATIONS, DBC PRI-MED, LLC, THEODORE WIRTH, KATHY WILLING, and OAKLEY DYER Defendants MEMORANDUM OF DECISION ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO DISQUALIFY THE FIRM REPRESENTING THE DEFENDANTS IN THIS ACTION This lawsuit was instituted in December 2016. Sullivan and Worcester, LLP (S&W), long-time counsel for the defendant Diversified Business Communications (Diversified) and its subsidiary Pri-Med, LLC (Pri-Med), filed an appearance on behalf of Diversified, Pri-Med and the three individual defendants. Seven months later and well into discovery in this case, the plaintiff John Mooney filed a Motion to Disqualify S&W on the grounds that he has been and remains an S&W client, so that the firm’s representation of the defendants in this litigation violates Rule 1.7 of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct. S&W denies any ethical violation and contends that the Motion is a “transparent and unacceptable litigation tactic.” After hearing, this Court concluded that there was no reason to disqualify S&W and on September 13, 2017, entered a margin endorsement on the Motion stating that it was denied. This Memorandum sets forth the reasons for that decision. 2 BACKGROUND In reaching its decision, this Court considered affidavits, with attached exhibits, submitted by both parties. Those submissions reflect the following facts that this Court views as material to resolution of the Motion before it. In 1999, Mooney’s business partner Jack Connors suggested that Mooney should engage in sophisticated estate planning and recommended that Mooney work with Lisa Mingolla, an attorney in S&W’s trusts and estates department. Mooney took this suggestion and in 2002, retained the firm to represent him in connection with preparing a prenuptial agreement and estate planning documents. An August 29, 2002 engagement letter signed by both Mingolla and Mooney reflects the limited nature of that representation. Mingolla was paid a flat fee of $ 10,000 for Mingolla’s services. The letter stated that S&W would discard certain items from the file once work was completed but would retain Mooney’s estate planning documents in its vault for Mooney’s convenience. Three years later in 2005, Mooney asked Mingolla if she would update his will and his estate plan, which she did. Mooney paid her approximately $ 20,000 for her work, which concluded in 2006. Mingolla did not perform any additional work for Mooney until September 2010, when she again updated Mooney’s estate planning documents at his request. Since July 2014, Mooney has not sought any legal advice from Mingolla. Over the twelve year period (2002-2014), Mooney paid Mingolla a total of $ 75,000. During this same period of time, Carol Wolff, an S&W partner, was providing legal representation to Diversified. When […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 4, 2017 at 10:39 pm

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