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Quinn Emanuel Calls B.S. on Government Conflict-of-Interest Objection in Megaupload Case

Here is the Quinn opposition memorandum, filed by William Burck, Derek Shaffer, and Paul Brinkman, of Quinn Emanuel, and Ira Rothken, of the Rothken Law Firm. The memo is 18 pages, and it’s a fun read.

Quinn doesn’t pull any punches. Here we go:

[I]f the Government is to have its way in this case, the only lawyers before the Court will be those representing the Government. If the Government is to have its way, the only evidence available to the Court would be that cherry-picked by the Government, for the Government, from the universe of relevant servers slated to be wiped. If the Government is to have its way, in sum, Megaupload will never get its day in Court and the case will effectively be over before it has even begun.


[I]t knows that no such counsel would realistically be willing to litigate this case through to trial for free or without sufficient resources — or that any such counsel, even if willing, would have litigated at least a prior copyright dispute or two involving a work or a client somehow implicated within the ocean of ESI stored by Megaupload, which the Government would then claim is itself disqualifying. Knowing all this, the Government appears unwilling to litigate fair and square. Instead, it is acting to vitiate Megaupload’s defense before the merits are ever reached.


The Government contends that Quinn Emanuel should not be allowed to enter a limited appearance “until all potential conflict situations are resolved,” maintaining that Megaupload infringed copyrights owned by other Quinn Emanuel clients and citing concern that Megaupload would not be receiving “constitutionally sufficient representation.” Government Opposition at 9. The cited concern should be no concern at all, for the conflicts conjured by the Government are fanciful and Megaupload and Mr. Dotcom have, in any event, agreed to waive them. Moreover, the undersigned assure this Court that Quinn Emanuel has carefully considered its ethical obligations in this case, as it always does, and is satisfied that it can properly proceed with this representation consistent with those obligations.

There’s more:

As a preliminary matter, the Government’s putative basis for disqualifying Quinn Emanuel would stand to disqualify essentially any law firm equipped to litigate one of “the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.”…

As Carpathia, a third party, has noted, “Twenty-five petabytes is equal to approximately half of all the entire written works of mankind, from the beginning of recorded history, in all languages.”…

Any law firm that knows its way around intellectual property litigation will presumably have handled a case involving a client or work that can be spotted somewhere amidst the sprawling electronic repository. Of course, only the Government has had meaningful opportunity to scour the relevant servers, and only the Government knows precisely what is in its resulting discovery files. This leaves the Government positioned to play “Gotcha” with any firm that may step up to make an appearance.

Read the full document here. I could keep going, but the point is made. Sounds like Quinn is digging in its heels. Giddyup!

United States v. Kim Doctom: Rebuttal Memorandum of Law
[U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia]
US Govt. Objects To Megaupload Hiring Top Law Firm [TorrentFreak]

Disclosure: Quinn Emanuel is an ATL advertiser.

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