Commercial litigator and SynerG member, founder, and Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Operating Officer Jason W. Graham shared this “SynerG War Story” about beating a motion to disqualify him and the lessons he learned from it: I have done a fair bit of construction law in my career. A number of years ago, I had a long-time client who was a general contractor who had been stiffed by a property owner. Although he could not afford to pay me to litigate the matter at that time, I had represented him for many years (at a profit) and had developed a strong friendship and loyalty to him. We filed suit and the owner took a number of aggressive, tactical, and absurd positions to delay payment of the amount due under the contract. The owner filed a motion to disqualify me as counsel based upon an alleged conflict of interest because the principals of the corporate defendant had once been in a few meetings where I was representing their ex-partners on a completely unrelated matter.
Knowing that my client could not retain other counsel (who would not work on the basis of loyalty and friendship), I called the State Bar to confirm my own ethical compass (and they did) and I vigorously contested the motion to disqualify. DeKalb State Court Judge Wayne Purdom held an evidentiary hearing in which I was the chief witness and he denied the motion from the bench. To me, this case was significant because I took a stand for what I knew was right, followed my ethical instincts, took the risk of public humiliation if I had been disqualified for an unethical conflict, and I prevailed. Ironically, the attorney who frivolously moved to disqualify me now holds public office…..go figure? I learned to always follow my own moral compass – but also to cross check it with the map in the glove box – and to not be afraid to explain the facts to the judge and let the judge decide who was right and who was full of it.
Jason W. Graham, Jason has a boutique complex commercial litigation practice at Graham Legal, LLC, firstname.lastname@example.org
www.graham.legal, SynerG Member since August of 2016, https://synerglawcomplex.com/team-members/jason-graham/
Submit your review