Littler Mendelson has been granted a protective order against a former associate, Uliana Kozeychuk, to prevent her from utilizing the confidential firm and client information the firm says she downloaded. According to court filings, Littler maintains in February of this year Kozeychuk downloaded 7,900+ documents, including firm proprietary and client data, to an external Dropbox while she was on Family Medical Leave Act leave.
Kozeychuk has said the downloads were “exclusively personal in nature.” Additionally, as reported by Bloomberg Law, Kozeychuk has asserted Littler’s legal maneuvers are an effort to distract from other issues:
Kozeychuk has launched a blistering social media response, accusing her former firm of targeting her for complaining about “abuse” by Littler shareholders.
“They know that I didn’t take any documents and they did it as a smear campaign to silence me and make sure that nobody believes me when I finally get around to speaking about them,” Kozeychuk said in an interview.
Kozeychuk has been posting about the case to social media with the hashtag #TimesUpLittler.
Littler’s filings also say Kozeychuk refused to return the information she allegedly downloaded, as reported by ABA Journal:
Littler general counsel George Wood first confronted Kozeychuk about a download of more than 3,100 documents in a Feb. 19 email, the firm said in its petition. After receiving the email, Kozeychuk uploaded the 7,900-plus documents to the Dropbox, the firm said. Littler placed Kozeychuk on unpaid leave Feb. 21 and demanded return of the information.
She refused Feb. 23, according to the Littler petition.
According to Littler, she responded this way: “Let me make something clear. Absent a court order regarding the same, I will not be providing Littler IT department or anyone else with my private account login info and access to my private files stored there. I have years’ worth of private photos and documents in there, among other things, that I do not wish to have anyone to peruse and to violate my privacy rights based on some false and defamatory accusation. Go to court, prove that I did anything wrong, get a court order, and I’ll be happy to comply then. We both know this will never happen.”
Two days after being placed on unpaid leave, Kozechuk quit.
In a sure sign this litigation is already getting heated, the firm has responded to the allegations:
“Ms. Kozeychuk has also chosen to publicly discuss grievances against the firm, including allegations that were investigated during her time at Littler and found to have no factual support,” the firm said in a statement to Bloomberg Law.
“Her actions are unfortunate, but we continue to focus on her improper conduct and are taking all necessary steps to assure both client and firm documents are protected,” the firm said.
Littler Targets Ex-Associate Accused of Stealing Sensitive Info [Bloomberg Law]
Associate uploaded over 7,900 documents to external Dropbox before quitting, Littler alleges [ABA Journal]
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcast, and co-host of Thinking Like A Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @Kathryn1@mastodon.social.
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