Roux v. Roux
When a motion is filed on the eve of trial, a court can find that the primary purpose of the motion to disqualify an opponent's attorney is harassment and delay, even if the claim itself is not frivolous. The plaintiff, Norman Roux, filed a shareholder derivative suit, alleging wrongdoing by the individual defendants, one of whom was Stephen Roux. On the eve of trial, the plaintiff moved to disqualify the attorney who represents the individual and corporate defendants. Rule 1.7 of the Rules of Professional Conduct provides, "A concurrent conflict of interest exists if . . . there is a significant risk that the representation of one or more clients will be materially limited by the lawyer's responsibilities to another client, a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the lawyer." The court found that the primary purpose of the plaintiff's motion to disqualify defense counsel was harassment or delay. "While the court does not consider the plaintiff's claims frivolous," wrote the court, "the context in which they are raised leads the court to the inescapable conclusion that their primary purpose is one of harassment and delay." The court denied the plaintiff's motion to disqualify the defendants' attorney.