Minnesota's law firm in 3M PFC case disqualified

  • Article by: Jim Anderson , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 1, 2013 - 9:55 PM

A Court of Appeals conflict of interest ruling against law firm representing state is a major blow for the attorney general’s office.

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summer12Jul. 1, 1312:33 PM

If MMM is so innocent then why would they object?

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libsheepJul. 1, 1312:51 PM

And, summer, if Lori Swanson is such an intelligent lawyer, why would she not realize the conflict of interest before even allowing Covington to take the case? She hired them fully aware of the conflict, and aware of the intimate knowledge they had of 3M; very unethical of her.

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la55122Jul. 1, 1312:58 PM

Law firms playing both sides, who would have thought? While the state is right to go after 3M, they shouldn't benefit from inside information. They might as well have a "snitch" inside of 3M. This is definitely a "hard-ball" legal battle in the making. Poor law firm spent mega-dollars on discovery, won't get a dime!

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honeybooJul. 1, 1312:59 PM

The world's second oldest profession at work again.

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mjjohnJul. 1, 13 2:28 PM

When the state hires a new law firm will it be able to use all the discovery already collected or will it be deemed inadmissible ? And I believe the money 3M has spent for cleanup has been voluntary. Any pollution created by R&D of the material was perfectly acceptable at the time. Being a responsible corporation they have stopped manufacturing the material and are offering reasonable compensation.

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EleanoreJul. 1, 13 2:36 PM

Seriously this just looks like a scam by both parties to shift 3Ms financial responsibility to the state one way or another. They dumped the chemicals, whatever happens in the future because of it they own.

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pinky1933Jul. 1, 13 5:53 PM

practice of law: institutionalized fraud.

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honeybooJul. 2, 13 6:39 AM

Please tell us that Covington forfeited its fees in violating judicial ethics. Our did the taxpayer get stuck again?

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hobothobotJul. 2, 13 7:51 AM

This issue should have never gotten this far: this is a classic case of conflicts 101. While some might not like the fact that it is being used against the state and that 3M has some liability, upholding this ruling by the courts is important because it is protecting attorney-client privilege, which is something we all want and need for ourselves, and is the law. This firm has a good reputation in general so it is surprising they let it get this far; if they are out money, they did it to themselves.

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wallyworldmnJul. 2, 13 7:54 AM

Avoiding conflict of interest or even an appearance of conflict of interest is at the most basic level of legal responsibility of any lawyer or law firm. Responsibility of disclosure rests with the law firm and not with the clients.

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