Locked-out Partner Sues to Dissolve Law Firm
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A partner at one of Baltimore, Maryland’s oldest law firms is asking a judge to dissolve the firm.

John J. Boyd filed his complaint against Lord & Whip in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court last week.

Boyd alleges that Managing Principal Kathleen M. Bustraan fired him and his paralegal, changed the lock on his office door, barred him from the firm’s computer system and reassigned his clients.


“Nothing in Lord Whip’s By Laws authorizes the termination of a shareholder employee by the ‘managing principal,’” the complaint states. “Although on several occasions in 2008, Kathleen Bustraan had implored the other shareholders to ‘vote [plaintiff] out of the corporation,’ no such vote ever occurred.”

Boyd’s lawyer, Ronald G. Dawson of Annapolis, said the case was filed as a complaint for involuntary dissolution because the four principals in the firm were deadlocked on every issue facing the firm, with Jennifer S. Lubinski siding with Bustraan and Edward M. Rainier with Boyd.

In an involuntary dissolution, the court appoints a receiver to pay the company’s debts and divide its assets.

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In January 2008, three partners, two counsel and two associates left what was then a 15-lawyer practice to start their own firm, Godwin, Erlandson, MacLaughlin, Vernon & Daney, LLC.


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