The Fagen v. Exergy lawsuit has been the subject of several prior Minnesota Litigator posts. A number of the prior posts have to do with claimed “urgency” in the case, a feeling that apparently only Defendant Exergy and its legal counsel share lately.
U.S. District Court Mag. Judge Steven E. Rau denied Exergy’s motion for expedited hearing on its motion to add another party one year after the deadline for adding new parties this week. (And, today, he denied the motion to amend “without prejudice,” meaning Exergy gets to try again…)
See the footprints in the snow in the picture? Those symbolize the withdrawal Exergy’s previous local Minnesota counsel, Faegre Baker Daniels. Faegre Baker Daniels withdrew from the case shortly before Exergy brought its latest motion, as Fagen counsel notes in the attached blistering letter to the Court filed this week (see Point # 4).
Litigators are familiar with some clients’ processions of lawyers. The stream of models down the catwalk often represent progressions to less and less expensive lawyers as the fiscal carnage of lengthy litigation grinds on (noted here). But lawyers withdraw for other reasons as well, of course. For example, they might not feel comfortable with lead counsel’s working style or legal strategy. They might have a client communication or cooperation problems. Etc. Etc.
As for the withdrawal of the Faegre Baker Daniels lawyers as local counsel for Exergy, we only see the evidence of withdrawal, not the reasons behind it, which will very likely be kept indefinitely confidential. But I think it is fair to suggest from the history of this case and from the contents of the attached letter that this case has at least a faint whiff of a potentially noxious quagmire. There are probably other more promising opportunities for Exergy’s exiting high-powered Minnesota legal team…