Purdue Pharma L.P. and two other companies are attempting to have Linda Singer, former District of Columbia Attorney General, barred from representing the City of Chicago in a lawsuit against drug manufacturers. The charge is that these companies misinformed the public about risks of pain medications that mimic opium. Singer dealt with a similar case when she was an attorney general, and Purdue claims that she should not be allowed to be involved in the current case.
Purdue says Singer’s representation of the city of Chicago is in violation of Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1, which restricts a former government attorney from representing a client “in connection with a matter in which the lawyer participated personally and substantially as a public officer or employee.” Purdue believes that Singer and anyone in her law firm Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll should not be permitted to take the case.
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Singer was attorney general in 2007, when the District and 26 other jurisdictions came to a $19.5 million settlement with Purdue over the marketing of OxyContin. At that time, she was briefed on the settlement, edited the press release and lobbied to increase caps to D.C.’s consumer protection fund.