I really don't get the irrational hatred for lawyers on Slashdot. It's possible that the facts here will show that the law firm has broken a professional code of conduct, which if their jurisdiction is like mine carries penalties under the law. You might as well say "never, never trust a black man" after the hundredth item of news about a black man committing a violent crime, conveniently ignoring the other x million non-violent black men.
Let me summarise as simply as possible: lawyers provide advice and speak on your behalf in defending your rights under the law. That's all they do. They don't get to make law and they'll face worse consequences than a layperson if they break it. If you don't like the law - and there are lots of laws not to like - then by attacking the lawyers you are essentially saying, "I believe the problem is not some particular law but that we even have the rule of law." You are annoyed because some legislative process exists which gives rights and duties and there are remedies for enforcing those rights and duties. But ubi remedium ibi ius: there is no law/justice without a means of enforcing it.
Your problem is with your legislature, a corrupt shower of bastards voted in by an ignorant population. We have a similar problem on the other side of the pond, although in our case it's more apathetic cynicism than mindless patriotism. Deal with them and let your judiciary enforce the laws you want. Common law systems are really top of their class, as far as this planet goes.
Excellent commentary. I am a lawyer, and I consider myself an ethical person both on the job and off. I will not take cases that have bad karma attached to them, and I have turned many down. I suppose some of you will discount everything I say because of my profession, and I understand that. But I still assure you that I speak the truth, and I went to law school to help people, not destroy them. That being said, it appears on these facts that the lawyers at Pepper Hamilton at the very least behaved foolishly by not keeping an important client in the loop. Facts may prove otherwise, but the appearances are not so good, and appearances should be extremely important to a law firm.
"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken