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Citizen Complaint re Cozen O’Connor

Posted Aug 23, 2007 2:16 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Cozen O'Connor's new president and chief executive officer has been in charge of the Philadelphia-based international insurance coverage powerhouse for less than a month.

But Thomas A. "Tad" Decker and other firm attorneys are already the subject of a complaint by citizen groups to the state supreme court's disciplinary board. It essentially contends that Decker and the law firm had a too-cozy relationship during his prior work as chairman of the state Gaming Control Board, reports the Legal Intelligencer. Specifically, it alleges that there was a conflict between Decker's role as chair and the firm's representation of at least one slot license applicant, and questions whether, as the newspaper puts it, Decker "improperly negotiated an employment contract with Cozen O'Connor during his time on the board."

Both Decker and founding partner Stephen A. Cozen have denounced the complaint as "scurrilous." Cozen also said that its "statements of innuendo" are "false, defamatory and scurrilous," reports the Intelligencer.

Decker, the firm's former managing partner before he left to chair the gaming board in 2004, rejoined the firm and took the helm Aug. 9, according to a press release on the law firm's Web site. As it, and an earlier ABAJournal.com post discuss, his appointment was part of a significant reorganization of Cozen O'Connor. Until now, the firm had been controlled by its two founding partners, Cozen and Patrick J. O'Connor.

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