December 7, 2023


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“Hotel California” Law Firm Charged With Ethics Violations for Making It Impossible for Lawyers to Leave – My Shingle

2 min read


“Relax, ” claimed the night gentleman

“We are programmed to receive”

“You can test-out any time you like”

“But you can never go away!”

–Hotel California, The Eagles

We’re all common with the tune Lodge California, that fictitious vacation resort exactly where attendees are trapped for eternity.  Properly, what if the Resort California was not an imaginary location but a real, running legislation business.

Turns out it is…at the very least based on a  Reuters report about Tully Rinckey, a New York based armed forces and employment law business with D.C. workplaces that went to all steps to continue to keep attorneys tied to the Agency at minimum for the duration of their employment contracts.  As a outcome, the Company is currently the subject of a disciplinary continuing for interfering with the “the legal rights of attorneys to observe immediately after termination of their romance with the firm” and employing procedures that “prevented or impeded purchasers from choosing to proceed to operate with attorneys who have been common with their scenarios.”  

Law Organization Non-Competes Are Unethical

Between other matters, the Firm’s work deal with lawyers demanded liquidated payments of as large as $50,000 if an legal professional departed just before the summary of the contract expression, and barred departing legal professionals from soliciting the Firm’s lawyers for work for a period of time of 18 months and imposed a forced “referral fee” of 1-3rd of revenues produced by departing attorneys who took agency purchasers with them.  And the Agency also refused to notify purchasers of a lawyers’ departure, as a substitute immediately reassigning the circumstance to an additional Business legal professional.  And in reality, the criticism alleges that the Organization had sued legal professionals who took purchasers with them, even if the shoppers selected to follow. All of these routines violate D.C. ethics principles which do not make it possible for legislation firms to impose non-competes and forbid any tactics that interfere with clients’ unfettered rights to counsel of their deciding on.

Why Did This Law Organization Require Non-Competes

You may possibly ponder why a agency would want this sort of formidable non-competes.  Not surprisingly, the bar grievance found that the Company experienced high turnover rates…and no question.  Between other matters, Organization lawyers were being subject matter to rigid billable demands, although they weren’t credited for hours used on data files wherever shoppers hadn’t paid out- even if payment was later manufactured. And the complaint notes that lawyers and employees were being monitored on protection cameras.

Do Absence of Non-Competes Put Attorneys At a Drawback?

Law corporations argue that non-competes put them at a drawback to other enterprises.  Perhaps so.  But the best workaround is to keep away from methods like safety cameras and stringent workers that make it so attorneys want to test out. 


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