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Note Left on Chair Ousts Firm Leader

Until last week, Michael Hausfeld was chairman and name partner of the Washington, D.C., law firm Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll. Then on Nov. 6, he returned to his office to find a note left on his chair. It was from his partners, telling him he was fired. "Pretty cold," Hausfeld commented in an interview with Bloomberg News. But Cohen Milstein partner Joe Sellers saw it otherwise. "This was a proper way to give him notice under the partnership agreement," Sellers said. "It's hard to believe he viewed this as a shock."

If not reason to be shocked, would he at least concede it was in poor taste? After all, the 62-year-old Hausfeld had been at the firm since 1971. In his former partners' defense, they did also send him an e-mail, after voting to oust him while he was out of the office negotiating a settlement. Nor should we shed too many tears for Hausfeld, who has already set up his own firm where he expects several Cohen Milstein clients and lawyers to follow. And Legal Times reports that Hausfeld has retained lawyers at Venable to represent him "in considering what legal claims we might have for [Cohen Milstein's] conduct, or misconduct."

As of this morning, Cohen Milstein's Web site still bears Hausfeld's name and even several of his articles, such as this one, but not his profile.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 13, 2008 at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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