North Carolina Business Litigation Report

Flick Mortgage Investors, Inc. v. The Epiphany Mortgage, Inc., 2006 NCBC 3 (N.C. Super. Ct. Feb. 1, 2006)(Diaz)

Defendant's counsel had formerly been a lawyer at the law firm of the plaintiff. Plaintiff moved to disqualify him as counsel. Although the firm-changing lawyer had only been minimally involved in the matter before his departure, the Court held that an important factor to be considered was the subjective belief of the client whether the lawyer had represented him. Given that the lawyer had been one of only three in his old firm, the Court found the client's belief about representation to be reasonsable when coupled with the lawyer's acutal involvement. This warranted disqualification. The Court also "inferred" that the lawyer had had access to his former client's confidential information, and found that to be another basis for disqualification.

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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