Violating Legal Ethics and the Weinstein Connection

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Last fall, actress Paz de la Huerta accused Harvey Weinstein of rape. She retained a law firm (Tensor Law) to represent her. She was then approached by a different lawyer named Michael Rubin. He tried to poach her as a client. He allegedly convinced her to fire the law firm and hire him. He told her that he could get a better result, and that he was a “victims’ rights” lawyer.

Rubin then tried to gain control of the actress’s medical records. Allegedly to help Weinstein. Tensor law is now suing Rubin for their lost contingency fee.

If true, Rubin violated multiple professional obligations. He allegedly deceived his client, acted against her interests, and approached an individual who already had a lawyer. If he was in Ontario, Rules 2 and 7 (among others) of the Rules of Professional Conduct may be relevant.

Rule 2.1-1 states that “A lawyer has a duty to carry on the practice of law and discharge all responsibilities to clients, tribunals, the public and other members of the profession honourably and with integrity.”

Rule 7.2-6 states that “if a person is represented by a legal practitioner… a lawyer shall not… (a) approach or communicate or deal with the person on the matter…”

It will be interesting to see how the lawsuit unfolds and how legal ethics is examined by the courts.

(Views are my own and do not represent the views of any other organization.)

 

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