I have never heard of a lawyer behaving this unethically in such a reckless and transparent manner. I have never heard of anything close to this.
Michael Potere, 32, a recently fired former associate at the large law firm Dentons was arrested last week on charges of trying to extort $210,000 and a valuable artwork from the firm, according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.
According to his profile on LinkedIn, Potere had a Fulbright Scholarship, a master’s degree in public policy and administration from the London School of Economics., and had been an associate at renowned law firm Kirkland & Ellis. Something was amiss, however, as Dentons let him go on June 1. Potere did not take this blow well. He reacted by telling partners that he had taken potentially embarrassing sensitive information from the firm and would leak it all to the legal gossip site “Above the Law” unless he was paid $210,000 and given a valuable piece of artwork owned by the firm.
Potere was able to steal the confidential information because a partner gave him access to his email login information while they were working on a case in 2015, so the associate could access documents related to discovery requests in the case. After he learned that he was being fired, Potere used that login to search through the partner’s emails and download the sensitive documents, including emails between partners, quarterly financial reports, client lists, confidential reviews of associate attorneys, lists of equity partner candidates, documents describing billing rates, details of recruitment efforts, and memos describing how partners should approach clients with outstanding balances” according to the FBI. Continue reading