Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bedbugs and attorneys - a word of caution.

If you are an attorney seeking to make a big payday representing tenants in bedbug litigation, here is a word of caution from a recent New York Times article. Don't let your clients come to your office:
Even Steven Smollens, a housing lawyer who has helped many tenants with bedbugs, has his guard up. Those clients are barred from his office. “I meet outside,” he said. “There’s a Starbucks across the street.”

Once your office becomes infested with bedbugs, your business will suffer. Other clients will not want to come to your office:
In recent weeks, bedbugs snuggled into the seats at AMC’s movie theater in Times Square, crept around a Victoria’s Secret store on Lexington Avenue and the offices of Elle Magazine and hitchhiked into the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

“There were attorneys that didn’t want to come to our building,” said an assistant district attorney who would identify herself only as Caroline A. “I don’t blame them; I wouldn’t want to go somewhere where there is known to be bedbugs.”

The consequences from bedbug litigation are only beginning, but I imagine that if an attorney (or his clients) brings bedbugs into his office building, the landlord would be justified in evicting that attorney. Check your own leases before you put your practice at risk.

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