Now, I don't usually peruse the pages of Marie Claire, but there's an interesting article in their latest issue about the difficulties that couples face when one or both of them have access to sensitive or insider information.
While the article couches the subject in terms of pillow talk, it raises a number of ethical, legal and professional issues that arise when power couples bring their work home with them. This kind of relationship insider information can come up especially
often with attorneys, regardless of whether they work for a corporate
legal department, a private firm or the government. Attorneys have
access to all kinds of confidential information. Whether it's
information about a deal, a pending investigation or a precarious legal
settlement, attorneys are privy to lots of secrets that other people -
especially investors - would love to get their hands on.
The article tells the story of several people who, both knowingly and
unknowingly, passed information to their significant other. It also
give the accounts of some famous couples who have thus far resisted the
temptation to let a little too much slip out when discussing their
Still, even for the ones who have pulled it off, there's always the
recognition that the temptation is constantly there, lurking in the
shadows waiting to jump out when one of the partners exercises a little
less discretion than they should.
If the other partner acts on that temptation, a whole host of
professional and legal harpies could descend on them both. If
attorneys, they could both be disbarred and terminated for using a
client's confidential information. Or if they decide to trade on the
information, the SEC could potentially charge them with using insider
In any event, it's probably best not to say too much in the first
place. After all, who wants to discuss every single detail about work
with the important person in your life?
I say leave the pillow talk for more interesting subjects.