Epic Systems Corporation v. Tata Consultancy Services Limited et al
Order to Show Cause Issued. Attorneys James Aquilina and Wendy Wu are barred from further involvement in Stroz's work with Jenner & Block and Epic in this matter. On or before 2/11/2016, Stroz shall show cause as to why this court should not forward the facts surrounding Aquilina and Wu's involvement in the discussion with a represented individual to the State Bar of California. Signed by District Judge William M. Conley on 1/11/2016. (arw)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
EPIC SYSTEMS CORPORATION,
TATA CONSULTANCY SERVICES
LIMITED and TATA AMERICA
INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION d/b/a
In a prior opinion and order, the court granted in part and denied in part
defendants’ motion for sanctions and disqualification of plaintiff’s counsel. (12/31/15
Op. & Order (dkt. #342).) In that order, the court set forth specific instructions for
plaintiff’s counsel, and plaintiff’s counsel promptly submitted a report describing its
actions in response to the order. (See id. at 8-9; Pl.’s Submission (dkt. #358).) One of
the items the court requested was the filing of a certification from State Bar of California
confirming counsel’s representation that two highly credentialed, former Assistant U.S.
Attorneys now working for the Stroz firm, James Aquilina and Wendy Wu, did not
maintain active status to practice law in the California. (12/31/15 Op. & Order (dkt.
#342) 9.) In response, plaintiff’s counsel has since explained that they had misstated the
current bar status of both attorneys and that, indeed, both are currently licensed to
practice law in that state, although plaintiff’s counsel and the Stroz firm both maintain
that they were not “actually practicing law at the time they spoke with” a represented
individual. (Pl.’s Submission (dkt. #358) 8-9.)
While the court credits Epic’s counsel’s representation that the involvement of
these licensed attorneys was ham-handed at worst, the court remains skeptical of
counsel’s efforts to depict Aquilina and Wu’s role as wholly divorced from legal work for
a client. In particular, Aquilina’s and Wu’s questioning of Menon extended beyond that
of a technical expert and this court’s order, and appeared to invite information subject to
the attorney-client and work product privileges. Moreover, the materials submitted to
date -- namely Stroz’s engagement letter with Jenner & Block -- does not foreclose
providing legal services, nor does the Stroz’s website or the lawyers’ bios. Furthermore,
Wu’s participation in the discussion with a represented individual was not even disclosed
in advance as contemplated by the court’s order and necessary for any argument of
consent by the individual’s counsel. Finally, the calls were recorded without the consent
of opposing counsel or this court.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that:
1) James Aquilina and Wendy Wu are barred from further involvement in Stroz’s
work with Jenner & Block and Epic in this matter; and
2) on or before February 11, 2016, Stroz shall show cause as to why this court
should not forward the facts surrounding Aquilina and Wu’s involvement in
the discussion with a represented individual to the State Bar of California for
consideration of a possible violation of California Rule of Professional
Entered this 11th day of January, 2016.
BY THE COURT:
WILLIAM M. CONLEY
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