As previously discussed in these pages, Sullivan & Cromwell isn’t taking Aaron Charney’s lawsuit lying down. To the contrary, they have turned around and filed their own suit against Charney.
We summed up this development as follows: “Aaron, Biglaw is about to get medieval on your ass. You’re going to be bending over for Messrs. Sullivan and Cromwell. And this time around, they won’t ask nicely.”
Two news articles provide more details about S&C’s case against its former associate.
1. Law Firm Sues Ex-Employee [New York Sun]
A white-shoe law firm accused last month by one of its associates of discriminating against him because he is gay filed its own complaint against the lawyer, Aaron Brett Charney.
The firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, said last week that Mr. Charney broke his attorney-client privilege when he sought to embarrass the firm and its clients by publicizing his complaint in the press and on an Internet discussion board called Greedy Associates.
The firm also suggested that Mr. Charney stole proprietary documents from an office adjacent to his, and then leaked them to the Wall Street Journal.
Stealing documents from your neighbor’s office? How juicy! We’ve always viewed people who lock their offices whenever they’re not in them — e.g., even if they’re just stepping away for a few minutes to go to the bathroom — as being a bit paranoid. But maybe they’re just being smart.
(Also, we’re a little confused by the Sun’s discussion of the attorney-client privilege issue here. We wish we could see the S&C court filings ourselves.)
The suit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court on behalf of Sullivan & Cromwell by another New York firm, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. They ask a judge to force Mr. Charney to return the documents and award the firm unspecified damages.
2. Sullivan sues its own associate [TheLawyer.com]
We wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the author of this article is a reader of ATL.
Sullivan claims that Charney broke his attorney-client privilege, bringing the 125-year-old firm into disrepute when he published his grievances on a website, greedyassociates.com, before officially bringing them to firm management.
It is understood that a hearing is scheduled for 8 February at Manhattan’s Supreme Court.
Charney’s biography has also been taken down from the firm’s website in the last few days. Up until last week, both Sullivan and Charney stressed the fact that he was still an employee of the firm, although Charney said he was told not to come to the office while an internal investigation was ongoing.
Sullivan is also claiming that Charney stole and leaked documents to the press.
As we’ve said before, we’d be eternally grateful for a copy of S&C’s moving papers. If you can get your hands on a copy, please email us. Thanks.
Earlier: Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell — Or Should We Say, Sullivan & Cromwell v. Charney?
Prior ATL coverage of Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)