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...

Stay ahead of the curve

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.


  • Access to case data within articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of suit, and more.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, motions, etc.
  • Create custom alerts for specific article and case topics and so much more!

TRY LAW360 FREE FOR SEVEN DAYS

Hello! I'm Law360's automated support bot.

How can I help you today?

For example, you can type:
  • I forgot my password
  • I took a free trial but didn't get a verification email
  • How do I sign up for a newsletter?
Ask a question!