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Hershewe v. Givens

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Southern Division

February 24, 2015

EDWARD HERSHEWE, Plaintiff,
v.
KEITH GIVENS, et al., Defendants

For Edward Hershewe, Plaintiff: Bruce Lister Gordon, LEAD ATTORNEY, Gordon, Dana, Knight & Gilmore, LLC, Birmingham, AL; Lauren A Peterson, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Ed Hershewe, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Hershewe Law Firm PC, Joplin, MO; Lindan Jerome Hill, Gordon, Dana & Gilmore, LLC, Birmingham, AL.

For Keith Givens, Individually and in his capacity as member and manager of VLO, Defendant: Angela J. Mason, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Cochran Firm-Dothan, Dothan, AL; John Farrest Taylor, The Cochran Firm - Dothan P.C., Dothan, AL.

For John Givens, Individually and in his capacity as member of VLO, Defendant: Joseph J Siegelman, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Cochran Firm, Birmingham, AL.

For Chase Givens, Individually and in his capacity as member of VLO, Defendant: Angela J. Mason, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Cochran Firm-Dothan, Dothan, AL; Lance Harrison Swanner, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jacoby & Meyers, LLC, Dothan, AL; William Gantt Pierce, LEAD ATTORNEY, Jacoby & Meyers, Dothan, AL.

For VLO Managment, Inc., Defendant: John Jameson Givens, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Cochran Firm, Dothan, AL.

For Jacoby & Meyers, LLC, Defendant: Carl Ethridge Underwood, III, Lance Harrison Swanner, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Jacoby & Meyers LLC, Dothan, AL.

For Eagle Investments Group, LLP, Defendant: Joseph David Lane, LEAD ATTORNEY, The Cochran Firm-Dothan PC, Dothan, AL.

For ServisFirst Bank, Movant: Edward Martin Price, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Farmer, Price, Hornsby & Weatherford, L.L.P., Dothan, AL; Lindsay Snellgrove Reese, LEAD ATTORNEY, BBVA Compass, Birmingham, AL.

Page 1289

OPINION AND ORDER

Myron H. Thompson, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Plaintiff Edward Hershewe brings this action against a number of defendants asserting fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, piercing the corporate veil, corporate dissolution, and violation of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. § 1961 et seq. The defendants are Keith Givens (K. Givens), John Givens (J. Givens), Chase Givens (C. Givens), U.S. Legal Forms, Inc., Eagle Investments, LLP, Eagle Investments Group, LLP, USLegal Inc., VLO Management,

Page 1290

LLC, and Jacoby & Meyers, LLC. The court has federal-question jurisdiction over the federal claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and supplemental jurisdiction over the state-law claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1367.

The case is now before the court on Hershewe's motion to disqualify defendant J. Givens and the Cochran Law Firm as attorneys in this case based on violations of Alabama Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7 and 3.7, which govern conflicts of interests and lawyers as witnesses, respectively. The motion will be denied.

I. BACKGROUND

This case arises out of a joint venture between Hershewe, a lawyer from Missouri, and K. Givens, a lawyer from Alabama. Along with K. Givens's sons, C. Givens and J. Givens, as well as a several other investors, these two lawyers planned to start a national law office, called VLO Management, LLC, with a few physical law offices and a strong online presence across the country.

As alleged in the complaint, the agreement to start VLO was an exchange. Hershewe would provide the capital for the business while K. Givens would provide the intellectual property, copyright, and brand name from his law firm at the time, Jacoby & Meyers. Hershewe and K. Givens would be ...


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