Apple Inc. has asked a federal judge to remove Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy principals Joseph Cotchett and Mark Molumphy as lead plaintiffs attorneys in the multidistrict litigation over allegations that the company throttled aging iPhones, citing a “blatant and very serious violation” of a protective order.

In an April 9 motion for sanctions, Apple lawyer Theodore Boutrous, of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, said both attorneys disclosed “highly confidential” documents during a hearing last month in San Jose on a renewed motion to dismiss the litigation. Such a “serious and intentional breach” of a protective order “directly attack[ed] the integrity of the proceedings before the court.”

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