Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cordy v. The Sherwin-Williams Co. case brief

Cordy v. The Sherwin-Williams Co. case brief summary
156 F.R.D. 575 (D.N.J. 1994)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff personal injury victim moved the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey for an order barring defendant negligent party from using a specific expert and to disqualify defendant's lawyers and their law firm because the expert was first retained by plaintiff's counsel.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff personal injury victim brought an action against defendant negligent party seeking damages after a bicycle injury. Plaintiff through his counsel retained an expert who was provided with privileged information and rendered an opinion as to the cause of the accident. The expert then returned his retainer to plaintiff's counsel within the 30-day resignation period. Several months later, the expert accepted a retainer from defense counsel and plaintiff brought this action.

DISCUSSION

  • The court found that because the expert was retained by plaintiff and the expert received confidential information from plaintiff, he must be disqualified from participating in this litigation. 
  • The court held that defense counsel and their law firm were disqualified because plaintiff's interest in a trial free from the risk that confidential information had been used unfairly against him outweighed defendant's interest in being represented by his counsel.
CONCLUSION
The court found in favor of plaintiff personal injury victim and granted plaintiff's motion to bar defendant negligent party from using the specific expert and to disqualify defendant's attorneys and their law firm because of the risk that they would utilize information improperly gained from the expert.

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