A Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murphy, wisely ruled on February 13, 2018, that a law firm representing the husband in a divorce action cannot hire the associate attorney from the wife's law firm without disqualifying the husband's law firm. Imagine divulging your secrets to an attorney in the midst of a divorce litigation, who then accepts a job offer from your spouse's law firm. Outraged? On the offensive the disqualified law firm argued the wife's motion was a mere "litigation tactic." What is even more surprising is that the disqualified law firm has declared an intent to appeal this decision based on two arguments. First--it's no big deal as this divorce is relatively simple involving only equitable distribution issues over W-2 income and social security disability benefits. Secondly--the husband's law firm argued that it could set up a "Chinese wall" around the wife's former attorney, not consulting with him and keeping him excluded from any information developed in the case.
The Court properly rejected these arguments and granted the wife's motion to disqualify her husband's law firm. Janczewski v Janczewski, Index No. 2362/16