Kellogg Hansen denies ethics battle over Facebook protection

  • Law agency represents plaintiff Daily Mail in MDL proceedings the place shopper Facebook is a defendant
  • Manhattan federal choose raised considerations on his personal
  • In new submitting, Kellogg Hansen describes wall between plaintiff, protection work

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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 through which one other shopper, Facebook Inc, is a defendant dealing with legal responsibility over alleged market energy abuses.

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

In its court docket submitting, Kellogg Hansen denied that its shopper within the MDL, U.Okay.-based plaintiff Associated Newspapers Ltd, proprietor of the Daily Mail publication, was antagonistic to Facebook. The Daily Mail in April sued solely Google Inc for alleged antitrust claims, Kellogg Hansen companion John Thorne stated, and the criticism was later centralized with different circumstances through which Facebook was a defendant.

“The Kellogg Hansen counsel for Daily Mail have been ‘walled off’ from participation in any matter involving Facebook,” Thorne advised 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 in search of touch upon Monday, nor did Cravath, Swaine & Moore companion Kevin Orsini, co-head of the agency’s litigation group and a lawyer for Facebook within the MDL.

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

Lawyers 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 in search of discovery from Facebook or its workers.

At a standing convention final month, Castel raised what he referred to as attainable “serious issues” on responsibility of loyalty for Kellogg Hansen.

The Daily Mail, Castel stated, may need Kellogg Hansen to claim “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 referred to as Kellogg Hansen’s place a “tough situation” and stated he’d weigh how the agency thinks it will probably make its two roles work concurrently.

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

Plaintiffs’ attorneys embrace W. Mark Lanier of the Lanier Law Firm; David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner

For Google: Eric Mahr of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

For Facebook: Kevin Orsini of Cravath, Swaine & Moore

Read extra:

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Meet the Big Law alum main the FTC’s lawsuit in opposition to Facebook

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

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic