Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Although defunct and indebted, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison found a firm willing to represent it, at least temporarily, in litigation over its hiring of two lateral partners in 1995. Morgenstein & Jubelirer filed a motion with Los Angeles Superior Court seeking to vacate or extend the April 8 trial date in the suit filed by the now-defunct Santa Monica, Calif., firm Dickson, Carlson & Campillo against Brobeck and the two partners. The court will hear arguments on the motion today. John Worden, a partner at Morgenstein & Jubelirer, said his firm had agreed to temporarily represent Brobeck to file for the extension. “How long we will [represent the firm] hasn’t been decided,” Worden said. Worden said it’s “not completely determined” how his firm will be paid given that Brobeck dissolved last month. Morgenstein & Jubelirer has worked with Brobeck over the last 20 years and served as co-counsel in asbestos defense litigation. The litigation with Dickson Carlson arose when Debra Pole and William Fitzgerald left the firm for Brobeck. Dickson Carlson filed suit against their former colleagues for breach of fiduciary duty and demanded about $32 million in fees from unfinished business the two took with them to Brobeck. The firm is also suing Brobeck for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations and unfair competition. Keker & Van Nest had represented Brobeck, Pole and Fitzgerald, but on March 4 the court granted the firm’s motion to withdraw as their counsel. Keker said a conflict had arisen as a result of Brobeck’s dissolution last month. The firm also noted in court papers that Brobeck owes it slightly more than $300,000. Morgenstein & Jubelirer, a 35-lawyer business litigation firm, said Brobeck needs time to find counsel. “Just reading the documents alone would take an army of lawyers weeks,” the firm wrote in its motion, noting that there are approximately 1,000 exhibits, 45 volumes of depositions and more than 30 witnesses. But Dickson Carlson attorney Brian Lysaght, of Santa Monica’s O’Neill, Lysaght & Sun, said the case has dragged on long enough, and there are other lawyers who have been involved in the case over the years to step into the breach. “They’re hoping all the plaintiffs will expire of old age and that [co-counsel] Paul Murphy and I will as well and the case will go to the grave with us all,” Lysaght said. Meanwhile, as Brobeck sought to extend the trial date, lawyers that were at one time involved as defense counsel filed motions with the court saying they had no responsibility for the case. John McDermott, a partner at Howrey Simon Arnold & White, told the court that he represented Pole and Fitzgerald from 1995 to 1998 and has not been involved since. He requested that his name be removed from the service list in the case. Alternatively, he asked that Howrey’s name be removed as well. Howrey’s name appeared on the list of counsel to defendants in 1997 when McDermott joined the firm. Brobeck partner John Wasilczyk, who joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius after Brobeck disbanded, also filed a declaration with the court. He said he had served as co-counsel for Brobeck in the litigation through 1996, but had no involvement with the case after that and for health reasons could not step in now to try the case.

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

Reprints & Licensing
Mentioned in a Law.com story?

License our industry-leading legal content to extend your thought leadership and build your brand.


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.