Judge Finds Confidential Firm Documents In Possession Of Former Biglaw Associate


File search, magnifying glass with a bunch of foldersEarlier this week, we told you about Biglaw firm Littler Mendelson suing a former associate. Littler maintains in February of this year, Uliana Kozeychuk downloaded 7,900+ documents, including firm proprietary and client data, to an external Dropbox while she was on Family Medical Leave Act leave.

Kozeychuk denied the allegations, saying the downloads were “exclusively personal in nature,” and that Littler’s legal maneuvers are an effort to distract from her complaints of “abuse” by Littler shareholders — even posting about the case to social media with the hashtag #TimesUpLittler.

However, an in-camera review of Kozeychuk’s documents in her Dropbox, Gmail, and other accounts from July 1 through February 28 found confidential firm material. Texas Associate Judge Tahira Merritt ordered a third-party company, TransPerfect, to “immediately segregate these [confidential] documents and deliver them to counsel for Littler,” and that Kozeychuk “shall not maintain any copies of the confidential information.” The exact amount of confidential information found in Kozeychuk’s possession is unknown.

Of the discovery, Kozeychuk told Law360, “I have reached out to the judge and counsel to obtain information as to what docs the order is referencing so I can provide my position on whether they are actually confidential or not as I am not aware of any confidential docs being present in any of my accounts and am shocked by the court’s claiming that I do.”

Littler said they’re “extremely pleased with the court’s ruling, as our sole focus in this case has been on ensuring the protection of client and firm confidential information.”

“Judge Merritt’s interim review of a portion of the documents Ms. Kozeychuk took from Littler identified many as being confidential information of the firm and its clients, as asserted by Littler,” the firm said in a statement. “The case is ongoing and the remainder of the issues to be resolved are the subject of our application for a temporary injunction. Littler will continue to be diligent in taking all necessary steps to safeguard sensitive information.”

The firm’s counsel, Michele Naudin of Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann LLP, said there is potentially more confidential information in Kozeychuk’s possession.

“We were not privy to Judge Merritt’s discussions with the forensic team, but we do know that Judge Merritt limited the scope of her review,” Naudin said in an email. “She did not review all 10,000 docs that Littler identified as having been uploaded and removed from Littler systems. If the court grants our application for a temporary injunction, all documents will be preserved and reviewed by independent licensed forensic professionals. Kozeychuk will no longer have access to any confidential Information.”

It doesn’t look like this acrimonious case will be over any time soon.

Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @[email protected].


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