Legal Ethics

Former in-house lawyer is suspended for disclosures to reporter and regulators

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A lawyer who formerly worked for General Electric has been suspended for 60 days for disclosing confidential company information.

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals imposed the suspension on lawyer M. Adriana Koeck in an opinion on Thursday, report the National Law Journal and the Legal Profession Blog.

The Board on Professional Responsibility found that Koeck improperly disclosed the information to a newspaper reporter, the U.S. Attorney’s office, the government of Brazil, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Koeck did not participate in the disciplinary proceedings.

Koeck claimed GE was helping some customers in Brazil avoid value-added taxes by misrepresenting the regions to which goods were being shipped.

The initial ethics complaint had accused another lawyer and law professor of misconduct for helping Koeck disclose the information. The lawyer, Lynne Bernabei of Washington, D.C., will receive an informal admonition, while Notre Dame law professor G. Robert Blakey was informally admonished in 2015.

Koeck, who now goes by Adriana Sanford, is a lecturer at Loyola Marymount University, according to the National Law Journal.

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