Departing Attys Taking Files Can Break Law, Mass. Court Says

By Chris Villani (April 9, 2021, 12:58 PM EDT) -- Massachusetts' top court ruled Friday that attorneys who smuggle client files out the door to start a new firm can be held liable for deceptive business practices, even if they were still employed by their old firm at the time.

The opinion by the Supreme Judicial Court, in a case involving the now-defunct Governo Law Firm, ordered a new trial that could produce greater damages than the $1.2 million the firm won in 2019.

GLF, which specialized in asbestos litigation and is now part of Smith Duggan Buell & Rufo LLP, fired and then sued several of its attorneys in 2016 after...

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