Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lawyers and would-be lawyers - don't ever discuss sensitive matters in public.

The walls have ears (and eyes too).  That's the lesson a managing partner learned today when the details of his too- loud cellphone call on a commuter train, concerning the terms of a new lateral hire, were blabbed all over the blog Above the Law.  The partner's lack of judgment is rivaled only by the fastidiousness of the eavesdropper who noted every detail and then electronically communicated them to ATL:

An Above the Law reader . . . overheard [the partner] James Kirk’s conversations in their entirety — and described them to us in detail. Kirk’s first call was to a fairly young partner at a litigation boutique in New York. Our tipster actually gave us this partner’s full name, but since he’s an innocent party — a victim rather than a perpetrator of the confidentiality breach, who might not have told his current firm of his departure plans — we’ll keep him anonymous.

Jim Kirk called this young partner to make him an offer to join Kelley Drye as a non-equity partner.
. . . .

After communicating the offer, Kirk told the young partner that he’d “work on finalizing the offer over the weekend” and “should have everything complete within 10 days.”

Kirk concluded the call to the offeree and then phoned a human resources employee back at Kelley Drye & Warren. He provided the young partner’s name and home address — which our reader also heard and took down, thanks to Kirk’s loud and clear speaking voice — and directed the KDW employee to “start the background check.” (Again, we are withholding the young partner’s home address, since it’s not his fault that James Kirk was so indiscreet.)

Although the eavesdropper could have acted more professionally him or herself, the fault clearly lies with the partner for not being more discrete.


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It is discussed in law school particularly in legal ethics not to divulged any information to the public about the cases you handle. It is an offense that may lead to big penalties and or even disbarment..

Posted by: Brad Fallon | Jan 19, 2011 6:36:05 AM

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