Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe has agreed to settle a suit charging that the firm drove a now-defunct dot-com into the ground by making a first-year associate its lead attorney.
E-Compare Corp., which developed online shopping technology, filed suit against Heller in 2002 in San Francisco Superior Court. The busted dot-com sought about $200 million -- the purported value of the company -- in damages on claims of fraud, breach of contract, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. . . .
[I]n court filings, the startup had argued that between 1998 and 2000, first-year Heller associate Deborah Wagner made errors in the firm's capitalization and corporate governance records that caused a major investor to back out, forcing the company out of business in 2001. E-Compare also complained that Wagner did not have a license when she began representing the company.