Akin Gump withdraws from case after winning $25M jury verdict, says client admitted evidence issues
After winning a verdict of nearly $25 million in a federal trade secrets case earlier this year, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has filed a motion to withdraw from its representation of LBDS Holding Company, LLC.
Noting that it is unusual to do so after a favorable jury verdict and while a motion for judgment is pending, the law firm says in a Wednesday filing in the Eastern District of Texas case that a May 14 sanctions motion filed by the defendant, ISOL Technology Inc., is essentially justified. The sanctions motion contends that “LBDS and its principals manufactured and falsified evidence used in this litigation, testified falsely, and committed a fraud upon this Court,” as the Akin Gump motion describes the allegations.
Prior to the filing of the sanctions motion, Akin Gump was unaware of the evidence issues, but when firm partner Sanford Warren discussed the sanctions motion with a client representative on May 15 the rep admitted “that the allegations in the [sanctions] motion were ‘essentially correct,’ ” the Akin Gump motion says. A “Cerner” contract relied upon by the plaintiff at trial “was not authentic,” the motion says, because an actual contract “had been altered and had certain schedules attached to it which were forgeries.”
Additionally, a client representative “said that those on the [conference] call [with Warren] had set up a fictitious domain name and sent emails from that domain name to create the impression that certain emails, introduced into evidence at the trial of this case, were sent by Cerner Corporation, when in fact they were not,” the Akin Gump motion continues.
Although others on the conference call were listening rather than talking, no one denied these admissions, according to Warren, who filed the motion and attached to it as Exhibit A his own personal declaration concerning the facts.
Warren did not respond to a Wednesday evening phone message from the ABA Journal requesting comment.
A blog post at netWORKed discussed the $25 million verdict earlier this year.