State, law firm seek review of 3M case decision

  • Updated: July 27, 2013 - 5:41 PM

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office and the Washington, D.C.-based Covington & Burling law firm are asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to review an appellate court decision disqualifying the state’s legal team in its feud with 3M Co. over alleged damages from PFCs in the east-metro area.

The high court’s decision on whether to review the Court of Appeals ruling could come as soon as this week.

In its July 1 decision, the Court of Appeals upheld the disqualification of Covington & Burling for violating professional rules of conduct in failing to properly notify 3M that it was representing the state in a lawsuit over perfluorochemicals that were legally dumped in Washington County.

Covington & Burling previously had represented 3M on PFC-related matters before taking the state’s case in 2010 on the opposing legal side, creating a conflict of interest, the appellate court ruled.

The law firm took the state’s case at no cost in exchange for a percentage of any potential settlement.

jim anderson

@StribJAnderson

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