Shook Joins in Sending Opposition Letter to State Bar of Georgia

The Daily Report in “Georgia Defense Lawyers Stirred Up Over Proposed Opinion on Contacting Ex-Employees,” quoted Shook Atlanta Managing Partner Colin Kelly while reporting on a joint letter of opposition by Shook and defense bar groups and leading business associations to the State Bar of Georgia on a proposed advisory opinion change addressing plaintiff lawyers communications about and access to former employees. 

Shook was one of two large law firms and 22 defense bar groups, companies and industry trade associations signing a letter opposing Opinion 20-1, which states plaintiffs’ lawyers may contact ex-employees without notifying or securing consent from the former employers’ lawyers. The opposition letter states that former employees should still be considered as represented by their former employers’ lawyers in order to protect potentially privileged corporate information, and therefore plaintiffs’ lawyers should notify former employers’ lawyers before contacting their former employees.  

“Many of the current professional courtesies will very likely end and we will be left to just trust the ethics of adverse lawyers to make their required disclosures under 20-1—something that will be difficult to confirm after the fact,” Kelly stated about the proposed change.

Separate opposition letters were also sent by other defense law organizations to the State Bar during a period of public comment that ended in December. The State Bar will make a final determination as to whether it will issue the opinion.