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Ex-Client Cites DLA Piper Ties to AAA, Seeks Court Hearing on Alleged Associate Flub

Posted Mar 12, 2010 8:51 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A former client of DLA Piper claims its allegations of an associate’s misstep shouldn’t be heard by the American Arbitration Association because of the law firm’s ties to the company.

DLA Piper does an “extraordinarily large volume of business with the AAA" and several of its lawyers serve as AAA arbitrators and mediators, according to the lawsuit filed by George Sutton & Associates Inc. in California state court. The National Law Journal has the story.

Sutton, a San Diego software company, claims it suffered $1.2 million in damages after an associate "rifled through" its files in an effort to satisfy a discovery request for another client, the story says.

The second client was a company whose principal was a silent partner in Sutton. The suit claims an unnamed associate searched Sutton's files without its consent and turned over documents to a law firm sued by the second client.

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