In determining that Debevoise & Plimpton should not be removed as counsel in a case where several of its lawyers may be called as witnesses, a federal appellate court has issued a “new formulation” of the rule requiring the disqualification of attorneys for a conflict of interest.

“[W]e now hold that a law firm can be disqualified by imputation only if the movant proves by clear and convincing evidence that [A] the witness will provide testimony prejudicial to the client, and [B] the integrity of the judicial system will suffer as a result,” the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday in In re MetLife Demutualization Litigation, 09-3716-cv.

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