Friday, December 01, 2006

Oaks Management Corp. v. Superior Ct. (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 30, 2006)

There's no way in the universe I'm going to comment extensively upon this opinion. Yes, it's an interesting case involving the disqualification of a prominent San Diego law firm for conflict reasons. Yes, it's got some interesting facts, and players, and doctrine. Yes, it's significant, particularly for those of us who teach and opine -- not to mention care -- about professional responsibility issues.

But my own conflicts are simply too great. Not that I'm connected to (or had even heard about) this lawsuit, which involves a condo conversion project in Fallbrook. That's not the problem. It's instead that the matter (1) involves the diqualification of a law firm with huge USD ties (Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire); (2) arises out of a $1,000,000-plus loan made by MTT Partners (which, I believe, is part of a substantial planned gift to USD) to the plaintiff; (3) concerns a disqualification motion won by two USD Law School graduates (Donald English and Christy Yee) against another USD Law School graduate (Daral Mazzarella); and (4) arose before a trial judge (Judge Enright) before whom I'm shortly scheduled to appear.

So I ain't gonna touch this one with a ten foot pole.

Except, perhaps, to say two brief things. First, I think that Justice McConnell's opinion adopts the right approach and attitude to disqualification motions; practical, reasonable, sensible, and balanced. That's something I definitely like. Second, the list of counsel includes a "Brendan E. Ozanne". However, doesn't Brandan's middle name actually begin with a "K"? I think it does.