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Appellant client was granted a writ of supersedeas pending its challenge of an order of the Marin County Superior Court (California), which granted respondent insurance company’s motion to disqualify appellant’s counsel for conflict of interest under Cal. Rules of Prof. Conduct Rule 3-310, in the underlying insurance coverage dispute.

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Overview

Respondent insurance company filed a motion to disqualify counsel for appellant client in the parties’ insurance coverage dispute. The lower court granted the motion to disqualify, concluding that appellant’s counsel engaged in concurrent adverse representation under Cal. Rules of Prof. Conduct Rule 3-310 in representing appellant in the instant case while representing respondent in an unrelated matter. Appellant was granted a writ of supersedeas staying the court’s order pending appellate review. The court vacated the writ of supersedeas and affirmed the lower court’s order. It concluded that per se disqualification was proper because concurrent adverse representation existed, and appellant’s counsel was not able to avoid disqualification by withdrawing its representation to avoid a conflict it created and avoid representing the less desirable client.

Outcome

The court affirmed the lower court’s ruling and vacated the writ of supersedeas, holding that the disqualification order was appealable and that disqualification of appellant client’s counsel was proper because adverse concurrent representation existed in violation of the rules of professional responsibility.