No Sealing in Ex-Record Exec Charlie Walk's Malpractice Lawsuit vs. Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz

Kasowitz had negotiated a confidential settlement agreement for Walk with UMG Recordings; but the agreement has now been made public, because the judge order it had to be unsealed for the malpractice lawsuit.


Walk had been fired by UMG Recordings for alleged sexual harassment, and settled any possible claims against UMG with Kasowitz's help. Walk later sued Kasowitz and his firm, claiming they advised him badly; he sought to keep the confidential settlement agreement sealed. No dice, said New York trial judge Andrew Borrok, in Walk v. Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP, handed down on May 7 but just posted on Westlaw:

[T]he plaintiff's motion to seal must be denied. Charlie Walk has placed directly at issue the Settlement Agreement … dated March 27, 2018, between UMG Recordings, Inc. … and Mr. Walk pursuant to which he was paid approximately $1.7 million in connection with the termination of his employment from UMG. To wit, Mr. Walk alleges that the defendants committed malpractice in advising him and negotiating the Settlement Agreement with UMG when he was accused by a number of women of sexual harassment.

Neither UMG nor Mr. Walk has a compelling interest in keeping the Settlement Agreement confidential. The interest of the victims of Mr. Walk's alleged conduct and the public interest in how UMG addresses these types of allegations substantially outweighs any private agreement to the contrary.

For more on the case, and on the original dispute with UMG, see this Music Business Worldwide story.

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  1. This seems like such an obvious ruling, my first thought is “Walk is an idiot to think this could have gone any other way

    1. Yeah. Come on. Nothing wrong with suing a lawyer for malpractice if you think he did a bad job, but of course whatever it is they helped you with is going to become public, and if you are desperate that it not become public, you probably need to take that into consideration before suing your lawyer.

  2. Almost as if he tried to blackmail himself. Blazing Saddles comes to mind.

    1. Mr. walks fundamental claim seems to be that the allegations against him were so frivolous, and it was so obvious his lawyers should have defended him rather than settled, that it was malpractice to do otherwise.

      It seems obvious that a full airing of the allegations is essential to evaluating his claim. And If these allegations are as obviously frivolous as he says they are, it wouldn’t appear that their airing would harm him.

      1. Yes, good point: his objections to disclosing them is all the proof necessary that they are not frivolous.

  3. “Trump lawyer” Kasowitz? If Mr. Kasowitz’s firm represented former President Trump, what does it have to do with this case? Who do you label as “Clinton Lawyer”, “Weinstein Lawyer”, “Jeff Epstein Lawyer”, or “Theranos Lawyer”?

    Is the idea that you want to create a chilling effect for those who might dare to represent people, firms, or causes reviled by the “woke” left? Shame.

    1. JohnSteed: I have no problem with lawyers for Trump or Clinton or Weinstein or Epstein or Theranos; indeed, that’s generally (not always, but generally) a sign of their prominence and professional accomplishments.

      And that’s why I included it: A lawsuit — especially a malpractice lawsuit — against a prominent lawyer tends to be more interesting to some readers than a lawsuit against a less prominent lawyer. (It’s also why I mentioned the plaintiff was an ex-record-executive, which is to say someone more prominent than a garden-variety employee or plaintiff.)

      1. Thin gruel. It really has nothing to do with the case.

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