More details continue to surface about Michael Hausfeld's abrupt departure last week from Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, where he practiced for nearly 40 years.
Hausfeld tells Legal Times that Cohen Milstein's partners "amended the partnership agreement in the middle of the night to enable them to expel me, effective immediately." He has retained lawyers at Venable to represent him "in considering what legal claims we might have for [Cohen Milstein's] conduct, or misconduct." Hausfeld declined to say whether he definitely intends to bring a lawsuit against his former firm.
Cohen Milstein name partner Steven Toll says, "There's no basis for any lawsuit. Everyone's entitled to do what they want, but there's no basis for a lawsuit."
Hausfeld says he was informed of his expulsion via a note left on his office chair. "Not the classiest manner," he says. He adds that no other attempts were made to notify him.
Toll says an e-mail notification was also sent to Hausfeld.
While Toll wouldn't say whether the partnership agreement was amended at all, he says it's not true that it was amended in the middle of the night. "We have procedures under our agreement on what you're supposed to do in terms of notification of certain things. We followed those procedures," says Toll. With regard to the notification left on Hausfeld's chair, he says, "One of the procedures was to deliver something to Michael, which we tried to do and he was unavailable and no one was sure where he was or what he was doing. ... We left the appropriate notification. ... There was no handwritten note."
This article first appeared on The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.