Professional Responsibility Keyed to Hazard
Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky, P.C. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College
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On behalf of a female sergeant with the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD), the law firm of Messing, Rudavsky & Weliky (Plaintiff) filed an employment discrimination complaint against Harvard College (Defendant). Following the start of the suit, Plaintiff, when further investigating its client’s case, communicated exparte with five employees of the HUPD. None of the five employees were claimed to be involved in the alleged discrimination or having exercised management authority regarding the alleged discriminatory acts. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion to sanctioned Plaintiff for violating a Massachusetts rule, adopted from the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, that basically prohibits an attorney from speaking ex parte to employees of an adversary organization when it is an adversary litigant. Plaintiff appealed.
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