Monday, January 16, 2012

Lateral Movement, Client Poaching and Staff Screening

  • Laterals Be Careful? -- Lawyer May Be Liable to Former Firm in Tort For Improper Efforts to Recruit Firm's Clients -- "The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Dec. 22 granted a law firm's motion for a preliminary injunction against a lawyer who tried to recruit many of the law firm's clients after she was fired (Feldman & Pinto PC v. Seithel, E.D. Pa., No. 11-5400, 12/22/11)."
  • Avoiding disqualification on matters due to non-lawyer firm changes -- Bill Freivogel published an excellent article on "what screens law firms should put in place to avoid problems with non-lawyers." The essay compares and contrasts US and Canadian standards, explores when unilateral lateral screening is permitted vs. when waivers are required, and provides a case study example. He also presents a list of the five minimum characteristics of an effective staff screen, including policy construction, notification, information access control and compliance documentation. [Update: h/t to Legal Ethics Forum for suggesting LA County Ethics Opinion 524 as a relevant related read.]

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