Law Firms

Restraining order bars former BigLaw associate from disclosing confidential law firm documents

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Cole Schotz has obtained a two-week restraining order that bars a former associate, who said he wants to "live a life of meaning," from disclosing the law firm's confidential documents.

The law firm obtained the order Monday after alleging that former bankruptcy associate Myles MacDonald threatened to release confidential law firm information, then posted two confidential documents on LinkedIn, the New Jersey Law Journal reports. The documents were a draft complaint and a memo on litigation strategy.

The law firm sued MacDonald in a Nov. 1 lawsuit filed in New Jersey federal court.

MacDonald’s LinkedIn account was deactivated Oct. 30, “thereby hiding defendant’s shocking posts,” after MacDonald received a second takedown notice from Cole Schotz, the law firm said in its lawsuit.

“In response, defendant has grown increasingly belligerent on his Twitter account, accusing Cole Schotz and a variety of other actors of various largely unintelligible acts,” the suit said.

The firm also alleges that MacDonald sent texts to several Cole Schotz lawyers threatening to post the firm’s confidential materials on more than 50 internet platforms—if certain partners did not resign and if the firm did not release more client documents.

The suit alleges misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of the duty of loyalty.

According to the lawsuit, MacDonald posted an online manifesto that said he is on a quest to injure “big law” and to “feel human.”

“While he recognizes that his actions will likely end his legal career, his threats to post additional documents (and to have his agents post on his behalf), have only increased,” the suit said.

The New Jersey Law Journal links to a Sept. 23 blog post by MacDonald titled, “Why risk my career, my bridges and (who knows?) my law license?” He answers this way: “Because I decided I want to do something that mattered. That would actually help someone. That would make me feel human.”

MacDonald said he spent five years “inside the BigLaw machine,” and now he wants to “live a life of meaning.”

MacDonald is licensed in Delaware, New York and Tennessee and worked for Cole Schotz in Wilmington, Delaware, until June 2019, the suit said.

A Cole Schotz spokesperson gave a statement to the New Jersey Law Journal.

“We hold client confidentially in the highest regard, and we will take any action necessary to protect it,” the statement said.

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