Management challenges of a different kind

Managing Partner’s Indictment Raises Guilt-by-Association Questions for Law Firm

Ed was quoted in this article …

When members of a firm face difficulties creating very bad press, there are at least two ways to look at it:

First, any press is good. Even when a lawyer is chastised publicly, some prospective clients will believe that he/she must be an S.O.B. and that’s the kind of lawyer I want for my matter, someone who will got to the mat for me, no matter what tactic needs to be used.

Second, I (the other lawyers in the firm) don’t want to be associated with this negativity … and it’s time to bail from this firm. My professionalism needs to be maintained intact and that can’t be if the firm is receiving such negative scrutiny.

Those lawyers in the second category oftentimes begin serious searches for new firms to lateral their practices. And the “receiving” firm then has some serious soul-searching to do. How much has the “clean” lawyer been tainted by the bad publicity? How do we know that the “clean” lawyer really is clean? And how much of the book of business now handled by this lawyer will actually move with him/her? These and similar questions are very hard to answer.

Sometimes, the lure of increased revenue will cloud the vision of those having to do their due diligence connected with the lateral hire.

I guess the phrase, “Buyer Beware,” covers it all.


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