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Weil Gotshal & Manges has dumped client New York City just months before the town’s high profile trial against more than 40 gun makers and distributors after citing client conflicts.
According to the New York Times, Weil Gotshal, which accepted the case two years ago on a pro bono basis, pulled out of representing the City because of “certain potential ‘positional conflicts’ involving long-term clients and “those being advanced in the gun case”.
Weil Gotshal trial heavyweights Richard Davis and Steven Reiss were leading the case for the plaintiff which is seeking an injunction stopping the gun industry from sales and distribution practices that it claims amounts to public nuisance.
According to Davis: “We withdrew when we determined that the client's concerns about potential conflicts had some validity, not simply because the client objected.”
Reiss added that Weil Gotshal wanted to avoid any appearance that it might have weakened its arguments on behalf of the city because of its other allegiances, adding that such appearances are "what the conflict rules seek to avoid."