Markowitz Herbold PC Files Motion to Disqualify Susman Godfrey LLP
Markowitz represents Sentia’s Founder against a dispute with Sentia Debtholders
Citing that “Susman Godfrey violated its duties to prospective clients”, Markowitz has filed a motion to deny pro hac vice admission for Susman Godfrey to practice in Oregon for a case they recently filed on behalf of Measure 8, Anson Funds and others against Markowitz’s clients Nitin & Karan Khanna. The Susman Godfrey attorneys are not licensed to practice in Oregon and must request admission to litigate a case in Oregon. The motion to disqualify is based on Susman Godfrey’s violation of Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct, ORPC 1.18.
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“It is unusual that that we file a motion to deny pro hac vice admission,” said David Markowitz. “However, the attorneys at Susman Godfrey flouted the professional conduct rules. They had confidential information on our clients. They elected to take the other side and did not meet their obligations to Nitin and Karan. They should withdraw from this case immediately.”
- In 2020 Board members of the CBD company Sentia were considering suing their fellow Board members Boris Jordan (Measure8) and Sunny Puri (Anson Funds).
- Nitin, through an attorney, shared confidential information with Susman Godfrey about Jordan’s and Puri’s illegal actions. Nitin and the other Board members ended up not suing preferring to resolve the dispute out of court.
- In 2020, Jordan and Puri hired Susman Godfrey to sue Nitin related to the same issue, just from the other side.
- Susman Godfrey took on the other side as a client, which they either should not have, or have provided prompt notice to Nitin and Karan, and failed in their ethical duties as required by the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct, ORPC 1.18.
“This motion to disqualify highlights Boris Jordan and Sunny Puri’s pattern of bad behavior, unethical business practices and intimidation tactics,” said Nitin Khanna, Executive Chairman of Sentia. “While we look forward to telling that story as this case proceeds, even the beginning of this case demonstrates the extraordinary lengths that Jordan and Puri will go to violate ethical rules and fiduciary responsibilities owed to their partners, investors and employees. I look forward to setting the record straight in court and hopefully saving other entrepreneurs from dishonesty and mistreatment at their hands.”
Markowitz has signaled it will adopt an aggressive position in the case and looks forward to shedding light on the questionable business practices of these investors.
More About Sentia
Sentia was a CBD cannabis startup that ultimately failed because of substantial changes in the regulatory environment and the impact of COVID on the retail environment. Two of the investors represented by Susman Godfrey sat on Sentia’s board and approved its budget, spending and strategic direction. These are sophisticated investors who knew the high risks of investing in a new business in a brand new industry with the FDA as a brand new regulator. As an indication of the impact of the FDA and COVID, public company valuations of CBD companies during the same period between Sentia’s inception and sale dropped by 90% or more.
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