Risk Update

Risk News — Consider the C.I. Lobster Class Action Conflict Clash & Ransomware Court Order

Workers’ Counsel Slams Seafood Joint’s DQ Bid In Wage Suit” —

  • ” A proposed class of restaurant servers has urged a New York federal court to deny a seafood eatery’s motion to disqualify its counsel on claims they improperly solicited employees to join a wage suit, saying the DQ bid is an attempt to infringe on their attorney-client relationship.”
  • “Lead plaintiff Joseph Pagan and his lawyer at the Ottinger Firm PC asked the court Thursday to instead sanction C.I. Lobster Corp., which runs City Island Lobster House in New York, and its attorney at Milman Labuda Law Group PLLC for bringing a ‘frivolous’ motion to disqualify the former server’s law firm from his Fair Labor Standards Act suit.”
  • “C.I. Lobster asked the court in June to disqualify the Ottinger Firm, claiming it made prohibited solicitations in person or by telephone as it represented Pagan in his proposed FLSA class and collective action against the restaurant and its family owners. The seafood restaurant additionally sought other sanctions such as a monetary penalty and an order finding that Ottinger may not collect any fees for work performed in soliciting any opt-in plaintiffs.”
  • “In addition, the eatery said, Ottinger has a conflict of interest with Pagan because it has been unwilling to discuss a settlement without certification of a class or collective action, which goes ‘inherently against’ Pagan’s interests due to the time delays involved in litigation, the restaurant said.”
  • “However, Pagan in his Thursday opposition to C.I. Lobster’s DQ motion alleged that the only settlement offer to take place was when the parties engaged in a mediation with a qualified and neutral third-party mediator, who conveyed the restaurant’s settlement offer and proposal to both Pagan and his counsel simultaneously over a Zoom call, which Pagan rejected.”
  • “Further, he said, C.I. Lobster has provided no solid evidence of any supposed solicitation of employees to join the suit. Ottinger never spoke to any individuals on the phone or indicated via text message that he was soliciting their participation in the litigation, he said.”

Ransomware-hit law firm gets court order asking crooks not to publish the data they stole” —

  • “A barristers’ chambers hit by a ransomware attack has responded by getting a court order demanding the criminals do not share stolen data.”
    “4 New Square chambers, which counts IT dispute experts among its ranks, obtained a privacy injunction from the High Court at the end of June against “person or persons unknown” who were ‘blackmailing’ the firm.”
  • “Handed down by Mrs Justice Steyn, the injunction orders the ransomware criminals not to “use, publish or communicate or disclose to any other person” any of the (unspecified) data they stole in June. No data from 4 New Square appears to have been published on the known ransomware gangs’ Tor-hosted leak blogs, though the injunction return date is this Friday (9 July).”
  • “We have asked 4 New Square’s CEO about the firm’s reasoning for getting the order and will update this article if we hear back from her. It seems odd to get a piece of paper asking foreign criminals not to ‘publish data stolen from us’ when that is how they do their business.”
  • “It is very difficult to see what effect, if any, a civil non-disclosure order will have on a ransomware gang potentially based in a hostile foreign country – especially when such criminals attack multiple countries’ critical national infrastructure with apparent impunity.”