Departing Attys Taking Files May Be Illegal, Mass. Court Says

By Chris Villani (January 6, 2021, 2:41 PM EST) -- Massachusetts' top court suggested Wednesday that attorneys who surreptitiously take client files to start a new firm — including by smuggling them out the door in a gym bag — may violate the state's law against unfair and deceptive business practices.

The Supreme Judicial Court heard the appeal of the defunct Governo Law Firm, which fired and then sued several of its attorneys in 2016 after they allegedly took 24 million pages' worth of files and other data in order to start a competing firm. A jury in 2019 found in favor of Governo Law and awarded $1.2 million in damages,...

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