Monday, March 9, 2015

More on Lawyers Leaving (Laterally or Otherwise) & Confidentiality

Following last weeks stories on lateral hiring and confidentiality issues, a reader sent notes to two related stories on the Lawyer Ethics Alert Blog. First: "Indiana Supreme Court imposes public reprimand on lawyer who required non-compete provision in associate’s employment agreement" --
  • "...the recent Indiana Supreme Court opinion which imposed a public reprimand on lawyer who required an associate to agree to a non-compete provision in an employment agreement and sent letters to the associate’s clients stating that he would be taking over the representation; however, he did not attempt to enforce the provision."
  • "According to the opinion, the lawyer’s law practice was primarily in social security disability law. He hired an associate in 2006 to work in his law office pursuant to an employment agreement which included a non-compete provision prohibiting the associate from practicing Social Security disability law for two years if his employment was terminated."
Next: "New York ethics opinion states that lawyers cannot reveal client confidences solely to respond to a former client’s criticism on a lawyer-rating website" --
  • "The opinion is: New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics Opinion 1032 (10/30/2014)."
  • "The opinion found that the above exception does not apply and that '(a) lawyer may not disclose client confidential information solely to respond to a former client’s criticism of the lawyer posted on a website that includes client reviews of lawyers.'"
  • "Bottom line: Lawyers be aware: according to this opinion, a lawyer may not include confidential information in responding to a negative posting by an ex-client (or current client for that matter) on a lawyer-rating website (or other third party website)."

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