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Insight Center: Events

'Full House of Conflicts' - An Examination of Conflicts of Interest in the College Admission Scandal Litigation Known as the 'Varsity Blues' Case

Speakers: Hope A. Comisky, Jessica Kozlov Davis, Andrea G. Schwartz and Christen Tuttle

4:00-5:00 PM (ET) | 1:00-2:00 PM (PT)
'Full House of Conflicts' - An Examination of Conflicts of Interest in the College Admission Scandal Litigation Known as the 'Varsity Blues' Case

Recently in the news are cases alleging criminal conspiracies to influence admissions decisions at major universities in the United States. This college admissions scandal is colloquially known as the “Varsity Blues” scandal. It involves more than 50 individuals, including a number of celebrities, accused of providing funds to an organizer of the scheme for payments to inflate college entrance exam scores and to bribe officials at more than 10 universities.

Interestingly from a professional responsibility point of view, some of those who are accused have entered into joint representation engagements and hired attorneys who also represent some of the universities which have been victimized by the scheme. Is this acceptable? Can a lawyer simultaneously represent a husband and wife as defendants in a criminal proceeding? What are the benefits and risks of such a joint representation? Can a law firm represent defendants in a criminal proceeding when it also represents a victim/witness in unrelated matters? When and how can these clients waive conflicts of interest?

Our speakers will examine these issues by presenting and analyzing real life and hypothetical scenarios, asking for your input, and providing guidance for handling these types of conflicts of interest when they arise.

Our presenters will be:

  • Hope A. Comisky, Partner and Chair of the Professional Responsibility Committee, Pepper Hamilton LLP
  • Jessica Kozlov Davis, Director of Professional Responsibility, Pepper Hamilton LLP
  • Andrea G. Schwartz, Professional Responsibility Attorney, Pepper Hamilton LLP
  • Christen Tuttle, Partner in the White Collar Litigation and Investigations Practice Group, Pepper Hamilton LLP

The program is approved for one (1) MCLE Ethics credit in California, New York, and Pennsylvania. Attorneys licensed in Connecticut and/or New Jersey may claim credit under each state’s reciprocity policy. Credit for other jurisdictions may be available upon request.

In-person in Philadelphia and live simultaneous videoconference available in the following Pepper Hamilton offices: Berwyn, Boston, Detroit, Harrisburg, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Pittsburgh, Princeton, Rochester, Silicon Valley, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington.


Pepper Hamilton
3000 Two Logan Square
Eighteenth and Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2799


There is no cost to register.

For more information and to register, please contact Meagan McGovern at 215.981.4205 or

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