A federal judge on Wednesday barred Keker & Van Nest from defending Genentech Inc. at the retrial of a $1.2 billion patent infringement case brought by the University of California, citing a conflict of interest.

The fact that Keker partner Ragesh Tangri, while an associate at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Falk & Rabkin five years ago, logged 2,000 hours on the case on behalf of UC represents “a direct conflict,” Judge Charles Legge ruled from the bench.

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