Kristina Armstrong, the ex-wife of Morgan Stanley executive Michael Armstrong, has sued Blank Rome, and two of its attorneys. Ms. Armstrong claims the Blank Rome attorneys, Norman Heller, Esquire and Dylan Mitchell, Esquire, had a conflict of interest and did not represent her best interests because Morgan Stanley was also a client of Blank Rome. The lawsuit alleges the attorneys, without Ms. Armstrong’s consent, agreed not to seek possession of Mr. Armstrong’s securities licenses. The complaint also alleges the attorneys advised Ms. Armstrong not call the police after Mr. Armstrong became verbally abusive in March of 2010, and allegedly threatened to kill Ms. Armstrong. The lawsuit seeks $8.3 million in compensatory damages, $25 million in punitive damages, and $240,000 in legal fees paid.
Although a spokesman for Blank Rome has asserted the claim is meritless, the mere fact of the claim reinforces the necessity of thorough conflict checks before accepting any case.-Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire