July 20, 2013 | Legal News
Big Litigation Win for Quiznos
Thirteen separate groups of Quiznos franchisees who claimed to have opted out of the 2010 Quiznos National Class Settlement filed identical lawsuits in Colorado state court raising a variety of claims concerning Quiznos’ supply chain, marketing programs, and other practices. As lead counsel for Quiznos, we responded with a flurry of punches, including motions to dismiss each of the complaints, motions to compel arbitration of six of the 13 lawsuits, and a motion to disqualify the Ballard Spahr law firm representing each of the plaintiff groups. We brought the disqualification motion under Rules 1.9 and 1.10 of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, which govern duties to former clients and the imputation of conflicts of interest among partners in a single law firm. It was based on the past representation of Quiznos by certain current Ballard Spahr lawyers.
On May 20, 2013, the Denver District Court to whom most of the 13 cases were assigned (and whose ruling controlled in all 13 cases) granted our motion to disqualify Ballard Spahr. The Court ruled that Ballard Spahr’s “continued representation of Plaintiffs would not only contravene Rule 1.10, but would also undermine public confidence in the integrity and fairness of the proceedings.” For good measure, the Court also granted our motions in 6 of the cases to compel arbitration and stayed those cases pending the outcome of mandatory arbitration.
On May 30, 2013, the Colorado Supreme Court, sitting en banc, denied plaintiffs’ petition challenging the Denver District Court’s grant of our motion to disqualify Ballard Spahr.