Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Buh-But She Was Just a Paralegal!

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times : Holland Accused of Tortious Interference

Paralegal Patricia Dillman, the director of Holland & Knight’s litigation support group, decided to look for a fresh start. She settled on not only a different firm, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, but also a new city. Dillman accepted a $200,000 annual salary to move from Washington to Hughes Hubbard’s New York office.

Yet shortly before she started her new job, Hughes Hubbard informed Dillman that she could not work there because of a potential conflict of interest -- a matter on which she worked less than fifteen hours, and most of that, trying to find e-discovery vendors. Dillman is suing Holland & Knight for tortious interference for $300,000. Meanwhile, her erstwhile attorney, Lynne Bernabei, expressing the views of probably many, said:

I’ve never seen anything like this. The bar has an ethical concern with lawyers being stopped from moving from one firm to another firm. But Dillman was a paralegal.

Or, as she probably wanted to say, just a paralegal. A paralegal with a $200,000 salary, but still just a paralegal. Patricia, honey, find yourself a lawyer that recognizes the value of paralegals to a law firm.

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