In a case stemming from Heller Ehrman’s bankruptcy a decade ago, the California Supreme Court grappled with a matter of California law that could impact how Big Law hires partners from dissolved law firms in the Golden State.

Heller Ehrman’s trustee is seeking millions of dollars in profits from unfinished client business that its former partners took to their new firms. Heller attorney Christopher Sullivan is arguing that the defunct firm’s former employees, associates and other creditors had a right to the profits that other firms earned from that business. The case has drawn amicus briefs from the American Bar Association, bar associations in San Francisco and Los Angeles and 32 Big Law firms.

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