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


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“Relax, ” explained the night male

“We are programmed to receive”

“You can test-out any time you like”

“But you can by no means go away!”

–Hotel California, The Eagles

We’re all familiar with the song Hotel California, that fictitious vacation resort in which friends are trapped for eternity.  Effectively, what if the Resort California was not an imaginary destination but a serious, operating legislation agency.

Turns out it is…at the very least primarily based on a  Reuters write-up about Tully Rinckey, a New York primarily based navy and employment regulation agency with D.C. places of work that went to all measures to retain attorneys tied to the Company at minimum for the length of their employment contracts.  As a final result, the Organization is now the topic of a disciplinary proceeding for interfering with the “the legal rights of lawyers to observe following termination of their partnership with the firm” and using procedures that “prevented or impeded customers from deciding on to continue to operate with legal professionals who were acquainted with their scenarios.”  

Law Business Non-Competes Are Unethical

Amid other factors, the Firm’s employment deal with lawyers demanded liquidated payments of as substantial as $50,000 if an attorney departed right before the summary of the deal term, and barred departing lawyers from soliciting the Firm’s lawyers for employment for a interval of 18 months and imposed a forced “referral fee” of just one-third of revenues generated by departing attorneys who took company clientele with them.  And the Firm also refused to notify consumers of a lawyers’ departure, in its place right away reassigning the situation to one more Firm lawyer.  And in point, the complaint alleges that the Company had sued lawyers who took customers with them, even if the customers selected to follow. All of these actions violate D.C. ethics guidelines which do not make it possible for regulation firms to impose non-competes and forbid any procedures that interfere with clients’ unfettered rights to counsel of their picking.

Why Did This Legislation Agency Want Non-Competes

You might surprise why a firm would need to have such formidable non-competes.  Not astonishingly, the bar complaint discovered that the Company professional substantial turnover rates…and no speculate.  Among the other points, Business legal professionals ended up issue to rigorous billable specifications, even though they weren’t credited for hours expended on information in which clients hadn’t paid- even if payment was afterwards manufactured. And the criticism notes that lawyers and employees had been monitored on security cameras.

Do Absence of Non-Competes Put Legal professionals At a Downside?

Regulation corporations argue that non-competes put them at a downside to other businesses.  Perhaps so.  But the finest workaround is to steer clear of procedures like safety cameras and stringent staff that make it so legal professionals want to examine out. 


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