Thursday, July 21, 2011
From U.S. Law Week online:
A law firm's allegedly misleading an associate into thinking that he would make partner as a ploy to keep him from quitting and taking a big client with him is not sufficiently malevolent to allow a claim for punitive damages in the lawyer's action for fraud and breach of contract against the firm, the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, held June 7. Punitive damages are not available in the typical fraud and deceit case, the court noted. Traditionally, a plaintiff must establish that there was a “high degree of moral turpitude and wanton dishonesty” that implies “criminal indifference.” The allegations here did not rise to that level, it held. Hoeffner v. Orrick, Harrington & Sutcliffe LLP, N.Y. App. Div., No. 5289, 6/7/11
How about disciplinary action? At the least, such antics should scare away potential employees.