February 19, 2006

Tattle Telling to the Bar

by PG

A law school friend was thinking of a way he could help mankind the other day, but worried that it might violate the "no ambulance-chasing" tenet of the ethics code (presumably including the rules of civil procedure, as that would be the only reason for me to know about it; a semester of Civ Pro can get across more than 12 hours of professional responsibility did). In litigation, the opposing side has reason to look for any breach of professional conduct, but I wonder if there's much reporting of one lawyer by another otherwise.

An incident in which an older attorney who was annoyed by a younger one and forwarded their e-mail exchange to others degenerated that far:

Abdala said she has no regrets about the e-mail exchange. She said she has reported Korman to the Board of Bar Overseers for ''unprofessional and unethical" conduct for forwarding her e-mail to an outside party. She also said she believes that Korman's remark about Boston's ''small legal community" was tantamount to ''threatening my legal career," and that he circulated the e-mails as a ''cheap ploy to bring more business to his firm."

Threatening Abdala ''certainly wasn't my intention," Korman said. ''My goal wasn't to put her on the defensive, but simply to say there's a strong likelihood, given the small size of the criminal defense bar, that our paths would cross again." Korman acknowledges he sent the e-mail to a colleague, and said he did so because ''it was so shocking and unbelievable."

''All I did," he added, ''was forward a non-privileged, non-client communication to somebody who then chose to forward it along. I really don't see where the ethical breach is."

Neither do I. Thoughts from the more Professionally Responsible?

February 19, 2006 10:02 PM | TrackBack

one of the partners in our firm actually forwarded the email to us as a way of reminding us to be careful with our email!

logically speaking i guess i should have thought about the questionable ethics of korman. but i was so blown away by abdala i haven't considered it in much detail...

Posted by: marshmallow at February 20, 2006 1:16 AM
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