Auto complete leads to confidential information leak

When the New York Times broke the story last week that Eli Lilly & Co. was in confidential settlement talks with the government, angry calls flew behind the scenes as the drug giant’s executives accused federal officials of leaking the information.

As the company’s lawyers began turning over rocks closer to home, however, they discovered what could be called A Nightmare on Email Street, a pharmaceutical consultant told Portfolio.com. One of its outside lawyers at Philadelphia-based Pepper Hamilton had mistakenly emailed confidential information on the talks to Times reporter Alex Berenson instead of Bradford Berenson, her co-counsel at Sidley Austin.

With the negotiations over alleged marketing improprieties reaching a mind-boggling sum of $1 billion, Eli Lilly had every reason to want to keep the talks under wraps. It was paying the two fancy law firms a small fortune to negotiate deftly and quietly. (link)

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