Friday, March 12, 2010, 3/12/2010 12:42:00 PM

Former Toyota In-House Attorney Stole Documents He Claims Demonstrate Bad Conduct by the Auto Company

By Todd

CNN is reporting that when former in-house defense attorney Dimitrios Biller resigned from his top post at Toyota, he walked out with something potentially more valuable than his nearly $4 million severance package.

He took some 6,000 internal documents, including memos and e-mails potentially damaging to his former employer.

Although Toyota calls the materials "trade secrets," Personal Injury Attorney Jeff Embry said, "That doesn't mean that you get to keep them a secret from the court system."

So why, if Biller knew a judge had ordered all information produced, didn't he produce it? He said he tried but was stopped by a superior who told him, "You have to protect the client at all costs."

"Even if that includes," Biller asked, "committing criminal acts or violating the law?"

The answer, Biller said, was yes.

Did he break the law? "No, I did as much as I could as a lawyer for a client to not break the law," he said. "I wrote e-mail after e-mail, memo after memo, explaining the legal obligations Toyota and its affiliates needed to fulfill."

In response to Biller's documents and his allegations, Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight released this statement: "Mr. Biller continues to make inaccurate and misleading allegations about Toyota's conduct that we strongly dispute and will continue to fight against vigorously."

We'll continue to follow this story which pits the stolen documents against the company that they were stolen from.


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