Professional Liability Blog
Departure is Such Sweet Sorrow: Leaving Your Law Firm
You may have just been invited to leave your current firm to join a prestigious big firm. Or maybe you have decided to take that great leap into the unknown and start your own firm with a close friend. Such scenarios are increasingly frequent as law firm departures have become commonplace. But now that you have decided to leave your firm, how do you ethically depart with your practice intact? The longstanding case providing insight on this matter is the 1989 Supreme Judicial Court decision in Meehan, et al. v. Shaughnessy, et al., 404 Mass. 419. In Meehan, plaintiffs James F. Meehan and Leo V. Boyle decided to leave Parker, Coulter, Daley & White to form their own firm. The court reviewed Meehan and Boyle’s conduct in preparation for departure as well as their efforts to bring clients to their new firm, thus setting guidelines for attorney departures ever since.