Law Firms

Suit Blames Susman Godfrey for ADR Loss

A software maker’s lawsuit against Susman Godfrey blames the law firm and two of its Dallas partners for the company’s loss in a 2004 arbitration hearing.

The suit claims the defendants concealed documents and offered false testimony to obtain a favorable ruling for their client, New Century Mortgage Corp., Texas Lawyer reports. Named as defendants are partners Barry C. Barnett and Ophelia Camina.

Camina told the legal publication that the suit is “totally without merit.”

The plaintiff, Positive Software Solutions, claims it would have collected hundreds of millions of dollars in damages if the law firm and its client had disclosed the documents. Positive Software had alleged in the arbitration that New Century copied its software during license renewal negotiations.

A federal judge vacated the arbitration award in September 2004 after Positive Software learned through a Pacer search that the arbitrator and Camina were among 34 lawyers who represented Intel Corp. in a prior case. The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed in an en banc opinion (PDF) last January, saying federal arbitration law “does not mandate the extreme remedy of vacatur for nondisclosure of a trivial past association.”

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