A firm can fire a lawyer who is an at-will employee and who refuses to sign an agreement for non-solicitation of the firm’s current or potential customers. According to the Supreme Court of Kentucky, a non-solicitation agreement that makes an exception for legal work does not violate Kentucky Supreme Court Rule 3.130 (Rule of Professional Conduct 5.6), which prohibits a lawyer from agreeing to restrict her practice following cessation of employment, with certain exceptions.
Employee’s Concerns About Potential Ethics Violation Leads to Her Termination
The conflict in Greissman v. Rawlings and Associates, PLLC began when Rawlings and Associates, a law firm that practices healthcare subrogation, terminated one of its licensed attorneys who worked as a subrogation analyst. Before dismissing the attorney, the law firm presented her with an agreement that included a provision not to “solicit, contact, interfere with, or attempt to divert” any of the law firm’s current or potential clients for three years after ceasing employment. The firm typically presented a similar agreement to attorneys and non-attorneys at the time of termination. The attorney and non-attorney versions of the agreement used the same language, except the attorney agreement included a savings clause that said: “except to the extent necessary to comply with the rules of professional responsibility applicable to attorneys.”
Premium Content For:
- Litigation Section