Fearnow v. Ridenour, Swenson, Cleere & Evans, P.C.: Encouraging Firms to Punish Departing Attorneys?

The Arizona Supreme Court, with one justice dissenting, gave a narrow interpretation to Ethical Rule 5.6(a) of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct. The decision holds that agreements that inflict financial penalties on lawyers who choose to leave firms and compete with them are valid, so long as they are reasonable.