FIDUCIARY DUTY-ATTORNEYS

January 11th, 2023 by Rieders Travis in Miscellaneous

A lawyer whose client relationship ends can take on matters adverse to her former client, as long as she does not have an occasion to use the former client’s confidential information in a matter that is related to the work she did for the former client, against that former client. Avco Corporation fails to appreciate this distinction in this case. It claims that its former lawyer, Veronica Saltz Turner, violated her fiduciary duty to Avco when she took on a limited assignment in a case in which Avco had been (and could again have been) a defendant. Avco’s entire case rests on its assumption that Ms. Turner must have used its confidential information. Yet, it offers no evidence about what Ms. Turner did in the course of her assignment, about how the work she did related to the work she had done for Avco, or about any confidential information on which Ms. Turner could have relied when she took on that representation. When the Parties moved for summary judgment, it was time for Avco to “put up or shut up”[1] by offering evidence to establish those elements. Because it didn’t do so, the Court will grant Ms. Turner’s Motion for summary judgment on all remaining claims.

[1] Avco Corp. v. Turner, No. 21-cv-2750, 2022 WL 2901015, at *3 (3d Cir. July 22, 2022).

Attorney Cliff Rieders

Attorney Cliff RiedersCliff Rieders is a Nationally Board Certified Trial Lawyer practicing personal injury law. A large part of his practice involves multi-district litigation, including cases related to pharmaceuticals, vitamin supplements and medical devices. He is admitted in several state and federal courts, as well as the Supreme Court of the United States. Rieders is the past regional president of the Federal Bar Association and is a life member of the distinguished American Law Institute, which promulgates proposed rules adopted by many state courts. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, formerly Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association. As a founder of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, he served on the Board for 15 years.

Not only has Rieders held many highly esteemed, leadership positions, he authored legislation related to the Patient Safety Authority and the Mcare Act, which governs medical and hospital liability actions in Pennsylvania. He authored texts upon which both practitioners and judges rely, including Pennsylvania Malpractice Laws and Forms, and Financial Responsibility Law Issues in Pennsylvania, the latter governing auto and truck collisions in Pennsylvania. In addition, he wrote several books on the practice of law in Pennsylvania regarding wrongful death and survivor actions, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice claims and worker rights, among others. Rieders also serves as a resource to practitioners as a regular speaker for Celesq, an arm of the world’s largest legal publisher, Thomson Reuters West Publishing.

As recognition of his wide range of contribution to his profession and of his dedication to protecting the rights of his clients, he received numerous awards, among them the George F. Douglas Amicus Curiae Award, the Milton D. Rosenberg Award, the B’nai B’rith Justice Award, and awards of recognition from the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers. [ Attorney Bio ]

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