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Oops: Law Firm Newsletter Discloses Details of Confidential Settlement

Seems that people do read law firm newsletters after all, even the advertisements. According to the San Francisco legal newspaper The Recorder, Los Angeles-based Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges ran an ad in one of its business litigation newsletters boasting of its recent victories, including securing a $65 million settlement for its former client, ConnectU in its trade secret theft lawsuit against Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg. Trouble is, the parties went to great lengths to keep the settlement amount confidential, eventually filing it under seal with the court. Until the Quinn Emanuel disclosure -- which was apparently inadvertent -- the settlement amount remained a mystery.

Of course, confidentiality clause or not, it's unclear why Quinn chose to brag about the settlement in its newsletter. According to the Recorder story, ConnectU fired the Quinn lawyers who'd hashed out the settlement and unsucessfully appealed to the court to throw out the deal. Moreover, the firm is embroiled in a fee dispute with its former client, with Quinn seeking $13 million pursuant to the terms of a contingency fee agreement.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on February 10, 2009 at 01:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)


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