William Schuman, chair of McDermott's Professional Responsibility Committee, spoke to Law.com about how lawyers should properly leave their firms. For partners, he said, "The first thing to remember is you're not allowed to solicit clients or the associates of your firm while you're still there. The right way to go about this is to at least let your firm know you're planning on moving before you tell your clients." Mr. Schuman noted that the economic downturn has made some lawyer departures from their firms messier, but he advises departing lawyers to "always err on the side of caution. These people [at the previous firm] are not only your partners, but often your friends. The more open you are, the better. If things get nasty, you still have a duty to protect the client's interests."