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Purolite Files $40 Million Professional Malpractice and Gross Misconduct Lawsuit against Former Law Firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Business Editors/Legal Writers

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 12, 2004

Alleges Grossly Negligent Legal Advice Regarding Permissibility of Purolite's Trading With Cuba Resulted in Company's Criminal Indictment

& Conviction

Purolite, a water purification specialty resin manufacturer, today announced that it has filed a $40 million civil legal malpractice and gross misconduct lawsuit against the Company's former law firm, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP ("Morgan Lewis"), in State Court in Pennsylvania. Purolite alleges that: Morgan Lewis was grossly negligent in rendering legal advice to the Company; Morgan Lewis violated its ethical and professional obligations to the Company by permitting a conflict of interest; and, Morgan Lewis acted in bad faith by surreptitiously attempting to obtain a release of liability from Purolite. As a result of Morgan Lewis' irresponsible counsel, Purolite, and its two principals, were criminally indicted and in May 2002 convicted by a jury. The convictions of the Company and its principals were thereafter thrown out on post-trial motions.

Purolite alleges in the complaint that, after seeking advice from Morgan Lewis concerning the legality of trade activity by certain of the Company's foreign subsidiaries with entities affiliated with Cuba, a country subject to a U.S. Government-imposed trade embargo, Morgan Lewis committed malpractice in advising Purolite not only that such trade was legal, but also in counseling Purolite and its executives that they were prohibited under applicable foreign laws from acting to stop such trade. This advice was in direct contradiction to Morgan Lewis' own internal research memoranda generated by the firm's own lawyers, but not shared at the time with Purolite.

The complaint further alleges that Morgan Lewis, acting at its own behest, exacerbated and prejudiced Purolite's case with the US Attorney by making material misrepresentations to a US Customs Service agent, which were used in obtaining a criminal indictment against Purolite and its principals. Further, the complaint alleges that Morgan Lewis breached its ethical and professional obligations to Purolite by refusing to object to the presence on the prosecution team of the wife of Morgan Lewis' managing partner, and by apparently disclosing to the managing partner's wife confidential information.

Purolite's counsel, Marc E. Kasowitz of Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, stated, "Morgan Lewis' conduct with respect to a long-time trusting client was highly unprofessional and nothing short of shocking. Morgan Lewis gave Purolite flatly wrong legal advice, which was contradictory to the firm's own internal research, and caused Purolite's business enormous damage and its principals to suffer through extraordinarily difficult personal ordeals. Since Morgan Lewis has refused to set this right, my clients have no choice but to commence this action."

Bro-Tech Corporation, which operates under the Purolite brand, is engaged in the manufacture and sale of specialty resins and other materials used in water purification and other treatment applications. The Company, formed in 1982, has manufacturing, warehousing, application and research facilities around the world.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 12, 2004
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