In an e-mail dated June 23 from William J. Cluck, attorney for the Rail Road Action & Advisory Committee (TRRAAC), to Charles B. Haws, an Associate at the law firm of Barley Snyder LLC, Cluck charges actions by a “partner” of Barley Snyder as an “ethical breach.”
Cluck further states: “In all of my 20 years of practice I have never been associated with such underhanded tactics.”
Barley Snyder represents Franklin and Marshall College in its efforts to relocate the Norfolk Southern rail yard onto the former location of an asbestos dump in close proximity to a number of residences.
TRRAAC has long requested that an independent study be made to determine whether there is a better alternative site that could save tax payers tens of millions in the cost of relocating materials from the existing dump under the wooded area.
At issue was the unidentified attorney representing the opposing side remaining at the meeting after Cluck had announced that he would be reviewing attorney privileged information with his TRRAAC client.
Cluck’s entire communication follows:
“During the TRRAAC meeting this evening, I specifically said that if a member of the press was present, that he or she should identify themselves, as I was going to discuss privileged communication. A PARTNER in your law firm, who attended the meeting without identifying herself, remained and apparently was recording the meeting. Although she apparently is not a member of the press, the announcement that part of the meeting was privileged attorney communication with the client group should have been respected and she should have left the room. I view this intrusion as an ethical breach. In all of my 20 years of practice I have never been associated with such underhanded tactics.
“What was the purpose of sending her to the meeting? Did you learn anything you didn’t already know? I intend to inform the media of your client’s role and demand an apology.
“I hope the message she delivers to your client is that these people will not stop, we will go to trial, and we will continue our investigation of this project.
“Law Office of William J. Cluck”