Fired Lawyer Sued GM on Behalf of Ex-Client Without Telling Him

April 14, 2021, 4:38 PM

A Florida lawyer who filed a lawsuit on behalf of a client against General Motors after being fired and without his knowledge can collect some fees but isn’t entitled to expenses.

James Zonas’ act “is in direct violation of Florida’s rules of professional conduct,” Judge Jesse M. Furman of the Southern District of New York ruled Tuesday.

Zonas was let go by his client in 2017 but sued GM later that year on his behalf over the automaker’s ignition switch controversy. He and the ex-client’s new lawyer had communicated about documents prior to the filing, but Zonas didn’t disclose the...

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