Archive: March 7, 2008

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District Court Lifts Sanctions Against Six Qualcomm Attorneys, Remands Attorney Sanctions Issue to Magistrate Judge to Allow Attorneys to Defend Selves Fully

District Court Lifts Sanctions Against Six Qualcomm Attorneys, Remands Attorney Sanctions Issue to Magistrate Judge to Allow Attorneys to Defend Selves Fully

On March 5, 2008, District Judge Rudi M. Brewster issued his Order Remanding in Part Order of Magistrate Court re Motion for Sanctions Dated 1/7/08.  (View a copy of the decision from Westlaw here.)  The order vacated and remanded that portion of the January 7 Sanctions Order imposing sanctions against Qualcomm’s six outside counsel.  In doing so, the District Judge instructed that, in any future hearing held by the Magistrate Judge, the attorneys would be allowed to defend their conduct by any and all means, and would not be prevented from doing so by the attorney-client privilege of Qualcomm.  The court further instructed that Qualcomm be permitted, but not required, to participate without any exposure to further sanctions.

In reaching its decision to allow the attorneys to defend themselves fully, the court concluded that the self-defense exception to the attorney-client privilege was applicable.  It found that the employee declarations Qualcomm’s submitted in October in response to the Order to Show Cause Why Sanctions Should not be Imposed were "exonerative of Qualcomm and critical of the services and advice of their retained counsel."   The court continued:  

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