Talk about getting the cold shoulder. Qualcomm, the litigation-loving chipmaker, has turned a cold shoulder to its own legal counsel – all 19 attorneys on Qualcomm’s payroll. Apparently, Qualcomm is trying to pass the blame for what a judge called “gross misconduct on a massive scale” onto the legal team. The 19 attorneys involved in the recent legal battle with Broadcom had apparently failed to make 21 crucial emails and 200,000 pages of documents available until after the trial. U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara Major is calling the oversight a “the fundamental and monumental error” worthy of sanctions that would put their careers in jeopardy.
But, you’d think that a team of lawyers would be able to defend themselves in a court of law, right? Wrong. It looks like the attorney-client confidentiality agreement is coming into play here. The lawyers can’t defend themselves because they can’t talk about any communication they had with Qualcomm – which basically allows Qualcomm to say whatever they want about the legal team without any rebuttals.
It’s looking likely that some sort of penalty is in the cards for Qualcomm’s legal team, but we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of sanctions are levied against the law firms representing Qualcomm in the this case. Legal teams beware! Qualcomm is obviously capable of throwing their legal counsel into the lion’s den. If you fight on Qualcomm’s side, you had better make sure you cover your tracks damn well. Qualcomm’s head legal counsel jumped ship just in time.