Breaking Up (In PR) Is Hard To Do

Mark Penn, CEO of the PR firm Burson-Marsteller and chief campaign strategist for Hillary Clinton, is back in the news. Two weeks ago Penn, Schoen & Berland (PSB) filed a lawsuit against a former partner in the firm, Michael Berland, and a former vice-president, Mitchell E. Markel. PSB alleged that Markel's new company, Global Insights & Strategies, LLC, was soliciting their clients in breach of no-compete clauses in contracts with the two former staff. In response, Markel has filed a counter-suit alleging that emails quoted by PSB in the suit revealed that their confidential communications had been intercepted. Associated Press reports that PSB is accused of "hacking into Markel's Blackberry and rigging his e-mail accounts to send blind carbon copies of his e-mails to another account that it had set up." PSB's attorney, Howard Rubin, stated that "the e-mails came in on our own e-mail account" but declined to elaborate.