Ethical Pitfalls and Precautions for In-House Counsel: Who’s Your Client?

Douglas R. Balyeat, Esq., CPA, General Counsel, Pratt Industries Inc.

Brian Plummer was a young, assistant general counsel for Union Pacific Railroad facing a common situation: a lawsuit against his company. That lawsuit arose out of a work-place injury in which two Union Pacific machinists were operating “drop tables” to lower train engines for maintenance into a “drop pit.” In working to raise and lower engines, one machinist, Robert Garcia, fell into the drop pit and injured himself. The second machinist, Michael Yanez, was the only witness. Garcia subsequently sued Union Pacific for his injury.

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