CONFLICT WAIVER CONFLICT - A court filing by Coca-Cola last week alleging that the law firm Paul Hastings dropped it in order to represent a company suing the beverage giant gives in-house counsel all the more reason to scrutinize engagement letters with their outside counsel, legal observers told Law.com’s Chris O’Malley. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola filed a motion to disqualify Paul Hastings as counsel for SuperCooler, which sued Coke in February alleging the company misused its trade secrets and seeking more than $100 million in damages. According to Coke’s motion, Paul Hastings recently hired three Cahill Gordon & Reindel attorneys who represented SuperCooler. Coca-Cola said it found out about the conflict indirectly, through its outside counsel in the SuperCooler case.“Paul Hastings abandoned its ethical obligations in managing this situation. It made no attempt to notify Coca-Cola of the conflict,” the company alleged.
LUCRATIVE ENVIRONMENT - Law firms in Washington, D.C., have made a string of hires in environmental practices this year, with practice heads seeing opportunities for growth amid signs of increased federal enforcement and new environmental regulations under the Biden administration. And, as Law.com’s Abigail Adcox reports, newly proposed regulations for electric cars may lead to more growth in these practices. On Thursday, the EPA proposed ambitious regulations for cutting pollution from vehicles that could require electric vehicles to account for up to two-thirds of new cars sold in the U.S. by 2032. “Every time we see a new issuance, a new sort of statutory provision from the federal government, some sort of mandate from a state like California or New York about clean vehicles, EPA stuff today, I mean the phone just starts ringing off the hook,” said Levi McAllister, head of Morgan Lewis’ electric vehicles working group and energy commodity trading and compliance working group.