In Document Dustup, Lawyer Compares Jones Day Team to Kids in a Sandbox

A lawyer who represented the state of Rhode Island in lead paint litigation calls a fight over a legal document a “tempest in a teapot” and criticizes the Jones Day legal team that filed a lawsuit seeking its return.

The lawsuit claims Rhode Island’s law firm, Motley Rice, tried to profit from the theft of a confidential document from Sherwin-Williams regarding insurance coverage for lead paint defense fees, the American Lawyer reports. “Motley Rice has acted with malice and conscious disregard of Sherwin-Williams’ legal rights,” according to the suit filed by Jones Day.

Motley Rice lawyer Fidelma Fitzpatrick didn’t mince words in an interview with the American Lawyer. She said Motley Rice was negotiating return of the “innocuous” document when Jones Day filed suit, and the dispute is “a tempest in a teapot.”

“Like 3-year-olds in the sandbox—never have I dealt with more unprofessional attorneys,” she said of the Jones Day lawyers. “It’s pathetic. … The legal profession shouldn’t operate this way.”

Rhode Island Judge J. Silverstein has refused to grant the protective order sought by Jones Day and has ordered discovery on whether the document is privileged.

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