Remember when you chose your first online login credentials? Perhaps it was for your brand new Hotmail account, or that lightning fast AOL dial-up internet. Like many people, it was probably the first time you ever had to choose a password and it was also probably some combination of your kids’ names, your spouse’s name or your mailing address. Like far too many people, your password in 2016 may not be much different from the one you made in 1996. Despite the best efforts of IT, most people are loath to complicate their lives with long and varying passwords. However, corporate espionage is a real threat in today’s computerized society and executives must realize that treating the privacy of your company account is a recipe for liability. While it may not be your job to keep the entire system safe, it is your job to keep your key to it safe.
Pursuant to ABA Model Rule 1.10, a single attorney’s conflict of interest may be imputed to the entire law firm. The Rule provides that while lawyers are associated in a firm, none of them shall knowingly represent a client when any one of them practicing alone would be prohibited from doing so under the Rules. It is not uncommon for lawyers to have different associations with a particular firm—for example the term “of counsel” is often used to designate a role different from the traditional partner or associate positions. This may beg the question what level of involvement must an attorney have in order to be “associated with” a particular firm for conflicts purposes. A recent case out of the U.S. District Court of New Jersey involving a “seconded” attorney addressed just this issue.
Like all professionals, pharmacists owe a duty of care to their clients. The level of care and the specific duty owed, however, can vary depending on the jurisdiction. Historically, most states assign the duty to warn about the potential dangers, side effects or general usage of a drug to the physician or drug manufacture. Since pharmacists are not prescribing the medication, their potential liability is generally limited to scenarios involving the negligent filling of a prescription. However, a recent trend in the field has been expanding the potential liability of the pharmacists by holding them liable for failing to warn about a drug in certain situations or failing to consult the prescribing physician. A decision out of the state of Florida highlights this growing trend and creates a cause for concern in the profession.
Conflicts of interest are always a potential pitfall in the realm of attorney malpractice. The issue becomes even more complicated when tech-based clients enter the scene. What happens when two tech clients who are not directly adverse, but instead are potential competitors, both approach you for assistance?
Alex Rodriguez’s newest target is apparently the Yankees’ team physician. According to reports, A-Rod is exploring a potential malpractice suit against team doctors for “deliberately misdiagnosing” an injury that may have contributed to his woeful performance in 2012.
“They come into work disheveled and drunk. They swear while talking to customers. They have sex with a co-worker in the stockroom. Or worse yet, they steal money from the company or threaten to hurt the boss. Some employees turn out to be bad news for a company and need to be fired, but how can a company show misbehaving workers the door while protecting itself from wrongful termination or discrimination suits?” Our friends at Law360 provide great insight on the difficult and risky task of terminating an employee, here.