The allegations that Kline & Specter and its ex-associate have been hurling at each other in dueling complaints filed in recent months offer a window into the difficulties that can arise when business disputes at law firms turn ugly.

The legal fight between the top-tier firm and its former star associate, Tom Bosworth, has now escalated into two lawsuits from Kline & Specter and one countersuit and a scathing reply by Bosworth, with both sides alleging that the other mismanaged clients during and after the breakup.