Conflicts are a bitch, and that goes double for documenting their possibilities. In the course of reporting about McGrane Greenfield’s likely future role in a case related to the Heller bankruptcy (free reg. req'd), one recent declaration stood out for its colorful detail.
McGrane Greenfield partner Christopher Sullivan pledges he and his firm are totally disinterested parties to the case. He lists the usual suspects, and also goes into occasions and liaisons that seem like overkill –- but maybe just to laymen like us.
Among Sullivan’s confessions (.pdf):
Both the McGrane firm and I have been retained by the proposed Plan Administrator, Michael Burkart. I have socialized on occasion with Mr. Burkart.
Yes, but how many drinks did they have? And then this:
Ms. Jessica Pers, a former shareholder of [Heller Ehrman] and its managing partner between 1992 and 1995 is the wife of Mr. Robert Stein, a partner at the firm of Stein & Lubin, who is a friend and who attended the same law school as my partner, William McGrane. The Stein & Lubin firm has retained McGrane as its counsel in a currently pending matter. Ms. Pers and Mr. Stein called Mr. McGrane in January of 2009 asking for recommendations for bankruptcy counsel for Ms. Pers and certain other former shareholders. The merits of the case were not discussed ... Mr. McGrane may have given the names of potential bankruptcy counsel.
Coincidentally, The Recorder has another story tonight about a Second District ruling that makes conflicts less of a problem for firms. Which might make these declarations a lot less denuding.