In a decision highlighting a “heightened concern” about the appearance of conflicts within small law firms, a federal judge has disqualified a six-person firm from representing a plaintiff in a discrimination suit against a Long Island school board because one of the firm’s associates served as an officer of the board.

Plaintiff Karin Filippi, an employee at the Elmont Union Free School District, maintained that screening procedures utilized by the Law Offices of Steven A. Morelli were adequate to prevent the exchange of confidential information with Lorraine Ferrigno, an associate at the firm, who was vice president of the school board at the time of the alleged discrimination.

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