Lawyers leaving a firm are often tempted to try to persuade clients to go with them, to make copies of files that may not be their property, and to engage other activity that may constitute breach of fiduciary duty to their current firm. Some of that — and more allegedly happened in Houston, resulting in the filing of JL Salazar Firm v. Friedrich. An article about the case is here.
I’ve walked lawyers through departures many times, and most states have bar opinions providing step-by-step “instructions” for what can, and cannot be done. Often lost in the desire to leave, and to make a new start, is the fact that the clients don’t “belong” to anyone.