Suits against pharmaceutical or medical device manufacturers often include allegations about statements or conduct by company field representatives that paint the company in a bad light. When a company representative is joined with the company as a defendant in a case, in-house and outside counsel must decide whether one firm can represent both the company and the representative consistent with the ethics rules of the particular state. In this panel, we will present a mock oral argument on a motion to disqualify counsel based on a hypothetical fact pattern in which a company representative is alleged to have made unauthorized statements about a product that, if believed by a jury, would present significant liability concerns for the company. We will pay particular attention to Rule 1.7 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the jurisprudence addressing the standards that apply when counsel is engaged to represent co-parties.
Don McKinney, Adams and Reese, LLP, New Orleans, LA
Honorable Ronald J. Hedges, Ronald J. Hedges LLC, Hackensack, NJ
Kathleen S. Hardway, Venable LLP, Baltimore, MD
Peter C. Harvey, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, New York, NY