Q: Is it a good idea to use client information to make yourself rich? A: No.
/ 07.Apr, 2011
Lawyers receive lots of information from their clients. Some lawyers receive more valuable information in client communications than others. A simple rule of malpractice avoidance is to not use this information for personal profit (although, as always, there are many gray areas). Lawyer Matthew Kluger, formerly of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has been indicted as part of a scheme which allegedly brought in $32 million in profits by trading on confidential mergers and acquisitions information received from his clients. Not only is this a clear ethical violation of R.P.C. 1.6, but it is highly illegal. Mr. Kluger’s use of pre-paid cell phones bought with cash for communicating with his co-conspirators suggested to the FBI that he understood the activity was illegal. The entertaining FBI press release can be found at: http://newark.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel11/nk040611.htm
–Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire