February 07, 2007
Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell v. Charney
There has been much press, commentary and blog coverage about Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, wherein a (now former) associate alleges that he suffered discrimination based on his sexual orientation. It makes for good legal drama (gossip?) for quite a few reasons-- for example, all of the high-powered lawyering and, with that, the posturing and strategizing.
Much of the frenzy was spurred by Charney's initial PR campaign, which began with a posting of portions of the complaint to the "Greedy Associates" message board, and a link to his own personal website, which contained a copy of the entire complaint.
What does contract law have to do with this? Well, not much until yesterday.
Sullivan & Cromwell has countersued, asserting that Charney's complaint contains "confidential and non-public information" about the firm and its clients. (Among other things, Charney attached a purported copy of S&C's partnership agreement as an exhibit to the complaint). S&C claims that, by disseminating this information, Charney, among other things, breached the Confidentiality Agreement he signed (presumably as part of the HR paperwork when he commenced employment with the firm).
[Meredith R. Miller]
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