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Law Firms Penalizing Departing Partners? – That Goes Straight to the Penalty Box!

The Practical Lawyer recently published an article by Lynne Bernabei and Alan Kabat, “Law Firms Penalizing Departing Partners? – That Goes Straight to the Penalty Box!”. This article discusses the improper attempts by law firms to penalize departing partners who leave for a competing law firm. Lynne and Alan discuss how the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit these penalties, because the ultimate loser is the client, who is harmed by the penalties on the client’s lawyer. In this three-way contest among lawyers, law firms, and clients, the majority of the courts and state bar opinions have consistently recognized that it is the clients’ interests-the clients’ free choice of counsel-that must come out on top, not the former law firm’s interests.