Infosys' Lawyer Misrepresented Himself as Independent Counsel

Don Tennant

According to the attorney representing Infosys employee and whistleblower Jay Palmer, a lawyer hired by Infosys to help defend the company against Palmer's civil case and the U.S. government's subsequent criminal investigation misrepresented himself to Palmer and two other whistleblowers, leading them to believe he was an independent counsel investigating the whistleblower complaints.


The attorney hired by Infosys, Stephen Jonas, is a partner in the Litigation/Controversy department at WilmerHale. WilmerHale was in the news last week. It dodged a bullet when the U.S. Senate approved patent legislation that impacted a separate case that enabled WilmerHale to avoid having to pay a $214 million malpractice settlement with a client in the pharmaceutical industry.


Jonas was hired as Infosys' "company counsel" in March. Palmer's attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn, said Jonas represented himself to Mendelsohn and Palmer as an independent counsel whose mission was to independently investigate Palmer's whistleblower complaint. Mendelsohn said he confirmed that Jonas made the same representation to the two other Infosys whistleblowers.


I can now report that the second whistleblower, whom I called "Whistler" in my Aug. 3 post "Second Infosys Whistleblower Documented 'Illegal' Activity, Pleaded for Action," is Linda Manning, who worked in Infosys' human resources department in Plano, Texas, and who has since left the company. The identity of the third whistleblower, whom I wrote about in my Aug. 25 post Third Infosys Whistleblower Flags Illegal Workers at Client Site is still being protected.


Mendelsohn said he found it odd that the attorney who was representing himself as an independent counsel, and who was ostensibly investigating Palmer's whistleblower complaint, didn't show up on the scene until March. Palmer filed his whistleblower complaint last October. His lawsuit was filed in February.


Mendelsohn also said that in March Jonas repeatedly asked Palmer to surrender his laptop, which held the evidence of his allegations against Infosys. In a March 24 email to Mendelsohn, Jonas said Palmer's failure to turn over the laptop would put him in violation of Infosys' policy governing acceptable use of IT equipment, which meant that he would be "subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination." Mendelsohn dismissed that threat, because the special agent in charge of the U.S. government's criminal investigation of Infosys had instructed Palmer not to surrender the laptop to Infosys. The government wanted it as evidence.


Mendelsohn's response to Jonas was unflinching:

Mr. Palmer is protected under several federal statutes. Any attempts by Infosys to discipline or terminate Mr. Palmer for conduct related to the laptop will be in violation of those statutes and I will take appropriate legal action if necessary.

The laptop is now in the possession of government investigators.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Sep 16, 2011 1:58 AM Anonymous Anonymous  says:

With Obama's new job plan announcement ($447 B), and if it gets approved,  it would be interesting to see how many projects go to Infosys and it's associated companies. 

Sep 16, 2011 2:21 AM Chamat Chamat  says:

Jonas way of working might be condemned by some moral police. But may be that is the way how these lawyers work be it Jonas of Mendelsohn. As Palmer's attorney inturn is leaking company confidential docs and employee names which is also same thing if not worse.

Also second whistle blower Linda Manning must be fired from the company for her little knowledge about her Job profile. I remember in some post Don mentioned that Linda was unable to understand how salary was processed without SSN. 

Sep 16, 2011 3:15 AM ITJob ITJob  says:

Finally we got Infosys news after a loooooong wait....

All rants/haters about Indians please use this blog instead of old one....

Sep 16, 2011 8:22 AM The King The King  says:

does not matter. bribe has been paid. obama will produce innocent verdict.

Sep 17, 2011 10:06 AM Roy Lawson Roy Lawson  says:

Is this something that would be grounds for disbarment or some sort of malpractice lawsuit?

It seems highly unorthodox and unethical for an attorney to misrepresent themselves.  Legal?  Not sure - but it seems like this law-firm is quite happy walking in the grey area of the law given that they narrowly dodged a separate lawsuit based on malpractice.

They may get away with this a few times, but eventually anyone routinely walking close to the edge will slip off.

Sep 18, 2011 1:14 AM H1b_King H1b_King  says: in response to Roy Lawson

All is legal when you have support of politician     All US politicians has accepted bribe for H1b, you have no chance.

Sep 20, 2011 1:32 AM jobs4us jobs4us  says: in response to H1b_King

How profoundly sad, its probably the truth


What happened to the law, ethics, integrity? The American dream for American citizens?

Obama had a chance to be America's brightest hope. Just an empty suit who  betrayed we the people.

Sep 22, 2011 6:54 AM Wakjob Wakjob  says:

Don why should you be so shocked? Deceit is a way of life in India. Now they have come here and brought thteir corruption with them - polluting our once shinning city.


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