Serge F. Kovaleski and Stacy Cowley report that external counsel for Wells Fargo Advisors appear to have over-responded to a discovery request by inadvertently including financial details on 50,000 Wells Fargo high-wealth clients:
When a lawyer for Gary Sinderbrand, a former Wells Fargo employee, subpoenaed the bank as part of a defamation lawsuit against a bank employee, he and Mr. Sinderbrand expected to receive a selection of emails and documents related to the case.
But what landed in Mr. Sinderbrand’s hands on July 8 went far beyond what his lawyer had asked for: Wells Fargo had turned over — by accident, according to the bank’s lawyer — a vast trove of confidential information about tens of thousands of the bank’s wealthiest clients.
The documents were sent by Angela A. Turiano, a lawyer with Bressler, Amery & Ross, an outside law firm in Florham Park, N.J., hired by Wells Fargo, which is not a party to the suit. Mr. Sinderbrand and one of his lawyers, Aaron Zeisler, notified Ms. Turiano on Thursday morning about the sensitive documents now in their hands.
Read more on the New York Times. The law firm, in turn, appears to be pointing fingers at a vendor it employed.
There are a lot of questions that Wells Fargo clients and employees will understandably be asking in the wake of this incident. And how many people will spit at the “We take your privacy very seriously” assurances that will be flying around?