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Kellogg Hansen denies ethics conflict over Facebook defense

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(Reuters) – Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick is urging a New York federal choose to not disqualify the legislation agency from representing a information media plaintiff in antitrust multidistrict litigation wherein one other shopper, Facebook Inc, is a defendant going through legal responsibility over alleged market energy abuses.

The legislation agency responded on Friday to considerations raised by U.S. District Decide P. Kevin Castel at a latest listening to within the MDL that’s pending earlier than him in Manhattan federal courtroom. Castel stated Kellogg Hansen’s position as plaintiffs’ counsel appeared probably at odds with the agency’s different work defending Facebook in an antitrust lawsuit in Washington, D.C., federal courtroom.

In its courtroom submitting, Kellogg Hansen denied that its shopper within the MDL, U.Okay.-based plaintiff Related Newspapers Ltd, proprietor of the Every day Mail publication, was adversarial to Facebook. The Every day Mail in April sued solely Google Inc for alleged antitrust claims, Kellogg Hansen companion John Thorne stated, and the grievance was later centralized with different circumstances wherein Facebook was a defendant.

“The Kellogg Hansen counsel for Daily Mail have been ‘walled off’ from participation in any matter involving Facebook,” Thorne instructed Castel. “Kellogg Hansen has put in place an ethical wall to ensure that no attorney working on behalf of Daily Mail will access or obtain Facebook materials, and vice versa.”

Thorne didn’t instantly return a message looking for touch upon Monday, nor did Cravath, Swaine & Moore companion Kevin Orsini, co-head of the agency’s litigation staff and a lawyer for Facebook within the MDL.

Greater than a dozen complaints alleging advertising-related antitrust violations in opposition to Google and Facebook have been transferred to Castel in August. The plaintiffs are small and huge information publishers, Texas and 14 different states, small companies and advertisers.

Legal professionals for Google and Facebook have denied violating competitors legislation.

Kellogg Hansen stated the agency wouldn’t take part in discussions with different plaintiffs within the MDL about claims in opposition to Facebook, and the agency dedicated to not looking for discovery from Facebook or its staff.

At a standing convention final month, Castel raised what he known as doable “serious issues” on obligation of loyalty for Kellogg Hansen.

The Every day Mail, Castel stated, may need Kellogg Hansen to say “a claim against Facebook but you can’t do that because that’s your present client. There may be discovery sought of Facebook. There may be joint prosecution meetings in which strategy is discussed about how to most effectively build a case against Facebook.”

Castel known as Kellogg Hansen’s place a “tough situation” and stated he’d weigh how the agency thinks it may possibly make its two roles work concurrently.

The case is In re: Google Digital Promoting Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court docket for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:21-cv-03446.

Plaintiffs’ legal professionals embrace W. Mark Lanier of the Lanier Regulation Agency; David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner

For Google: Eric Mahr of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

For Facebook: Kevin Orsini of Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Learn extra:

Kellogg Hansen’s Facebook work spurs choose’s conflict inquiry

U.S. judicial panel strikes Texas lawsuit in opposition to Google to New York

Meet the Massive Regulation alum main the FTC’s lawsuit in opposition to Facebook

Kellogg Hansen to defend Facebook in U.S. antitrust lawsuits

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