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Solo lawyer says someone hijacked her bar number for rogue legal filing in high-profile federal case

Posted Jul 10, 2014 6:14 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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California solo practitioner Cathy Jones says she isn’t affiliated with a firm called Briggs Jones Law, and she didn’t file a motion that urged U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh to recuse herself in a high-profile case.

But someone using that law firm name along with Jones’ name, bar number and electronic filing account filed motions (PDF) to intervene and requesting recusal in a suit against four technology companies, report the Wall Street Journal Digits blog and the Recorder. The antitrust suit alleges Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe Systems agreed not to poach workers from each other in a bid to hold down wages. Koh is considering whether to accept a $324 million settlement in the case.

Jones learned of the rogue filing when she was contacted by the Wall Street Journal. “That’s my state bar number, but I did not file that,” she said. “Somebody just hijacked my name and bar number. I’m really mad about this.”

The motions said Koh should recuse herself because of purported links to administration officials, including, possibly, former State Department legal adviser Harold Koh, who “may be a family member of Judge Koh.” Harold Koh told the Recorder he is no relation to the judge.

Jones told the Recorder she reported the incident to the state bar, which said it would investigate the matter as identity theft. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is also investigating, a spokeswoman said.

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