In a final judgment entered following three days of trial, the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas found in favor of WSSLLP’s client, a national law firm specializing in employment law, in a claim of breach of fiduciary duty and alleged conflict of interest brought by a former client. The case was handled by Texas partner Martin Schexnayder, who was assisted by associate Farnaz Pishgahzadeh.
In the trial, the former client alleged that the law firm failed to disclose a material conflict of interest in representing a former client and another party in a FLSA class action case, also in the Southern District of Texas. The former client alleged that, as a result of the alleged conflict of interest, its interests were not adequately protected in the case and it was forced to settle the underlying claim for more money than it should have.
At trial, Schexnayder was able to present evidence, through cross-examination of the former client as well as direct testimony from the handling partner at the law firm, establishing that all potential conflicts of interests were fully disclosed in a written conflict waiver that the former client admitting having read and signed, after having had the opportunity to seek advice of independent counsel. Schexnayder was also able to demonstrate that the former client’s interests were adequately protected and indeed benefitted from the joint representation. After hearing three days of testimony, Judge Alfred Bennett of the Southern District of Texas agreed with the defense, dismissing the breach of fiduciary duty cause of action and entering a take nothing judgment in favor of WSSLLP’s client.
A copy of the final judgment can be read here.