Sheppard Fee Loss Ups Ante For Consent In BigLaw Waivers

By Andrew Strickler (March 1, 2016, 10:41 PM EST) -- A California appellate court's recent order for Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP to refund millions in legal fees to a former client should scare attorneys who aren't having frank discussions with clients about conflicts and the uneven response courts are having to advance waivers, experts said.

In a sharply worded decision, a unanimous three-judge panel said Sheppard Mullin lawyers had allowed a conflict to pervade its "entire relationship" with J-M Manufacturing Co. Inc. when it failed twice to warn J-M about a potential adverse relationship with another client — both before and after the firm got J-M to sign a...

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