An attorney offered to help his mentally ill client mow her lawn, then charged her $250 an hour for the job. He helped her shop and did other personal errands also. Sometimes, apparently, he brought a paralegal along and charged $125 for the paralegal’s time as well. But even that wasn’t enough, he stole money out of her account as well, over $100,000.
This crime is so clear, but we should remember, in every decision, even the smallest, that lawyering is a profession. Clients trust us to do what’s right for them, not for us. Don’t ever forget that. Always honor the trust.
The Florida Supreme Court found that lawyer Charles Paul-Thomas Phoenix assisted this client in defrauding investors in vacation rental units and falsifying federal mortgage documents. Phoenix was suspended for two years.
Criminals, of course, are entitled to legal representation; but they are never entitled to legal assistance in committing crimes. Any lawyer who abuses the law license in this way deserves, in my opinion, to be disbarred completely rather than just suspended. …
Attorney Stephen Snyder has been suspended. He has been called one of the top plaintiff lawyers in Maryland, though I have never met him, seen him teach trial skills, or heard of any his verdicts. Perhaps this is PR getting ahead of itself. Or advertising. He does advertise a lot. “Don’t just sue them. Snyder them,” his ads say. He was indicted for attempting to extort millions of dollars in exchange for keeping certain evidence secret. I’m sure they teach this in law school, but, to be safe: extortion is illegal and unlawyerlike.
Read the full story in the Baltimore Sun: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/crime/bs-md-ci-cr-snyder-law-license-20201026-lzhjhibcira6vhkceu2ix7v7ta-story.html
Attorney Richard Liebowitz stands accused of settling without client consent, filing suit without client knowledge, and leaving the client with tens of thousands of dollars in court-imposed sanctions. Courts all over the county have reprimanded him, calling him “an example of the worst kind of lawyering” and in another case “a clear and present danger to the administration of justice.” Alison Frankel of Reuters does a great job explaining everything in the link below. People read this and guess what? They don’t trust lawyers.
Test results obtained by a congressional investigation showed dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury in baby food. These test results were for products manufactured by companies that cooperated with Congress. But some companies didn’t even cooperate. Walmart, Campbell and Sprout Foods refused to turn over the evidence for their own products. What are they hiding? In my experience, withholding this evidence would not have been done without the assistance (and possibly on the advice) of company lawyers. Come on. We’re talking about poison in baby food!!!! You didn’t go to law school hoping to help big companies get away with hiding evidence about potential poison in baby food.
A lawsuit filed by clients accuses a law firm of pushing clients to get surgeries in order to increase the value of injury cases (and the fee to the lawyers). I know nothing about this case, but I do know that some despicable lawyers do in fact push clients to get unnecessary surgeries. And sometimes those surgeries go horribly wrong. I have represented the victims of medical negligence, undergoing unnecessary surgeries performed by doctors in cahoots with the dirty lawyers. The client never knew that the surgery was bogus, and the consequences (to the client) were catastrophic. How do these lawyers sleep at night?
Innocent until proven guilty, but a law firm in Utah was sued for charging for hours that were never worked, having multiple lawyers bill for a task completed by one of them, and having high-priced lawyers do work that should have been done by paralegals or less expensive lawyers.
Supposedly the firm even puts on a seminar to teach lawyers how to increase billing.
This strikes at the heart of our profession, and we are, don’t forget, a profession. We owe our clients a duty to put their interests ahead of our own. It’s that simple!
Scot Strems claims that his law firm is Florida’s most trusted. But the Florida Bar suspended his license while it conducts an investigation into allegations of unethical conduct. One insurer filed a lawsuit saying it had been defrauded out of millions of dollars through fraudulent property claims. These are just allegations — and certainly insurers have an incentive to attack lawyers who insist they pay claims fairly. Insurance companies have cheated their insureds out of billions of dollars. But that doesn’t excuse lawyer misconduct or fraudulent claims, and we must call out our own. Take cases you believe in, for clients who deserve to win.
I would be despondent right now if I wasn’t so furious. Do I really have to say this again? A client’s money is… NOT YOUR MONEY! No lawyer can borrow client money from the trust account, not even for ten seconds. It’s theft, even if it’s paid back. And it looks like this money is gone for good. These were the families of those who died in one of the Boeing crashes. Thomas Girardi was a pioneer and yes, a great lawyer. But not anymore, not if this is true. Sad, yes, but more than that, it’s infuriating.
All lawyers take an oath before admission to the Bar. The oath is an ancient and sacred requirement of the profession. We pledge to put the interests of our clients before ourselves. This is the core of any professional relationship.
But America has been captured by a strange and immoral idea: that greed justifies anything, that the only obligation — of a corporation, or a law firm, or a citizen — is to maximize profit.
Lawyers cannot maximize profit and honor their oath at the same time. You must choose.
Remember the words of President Lincoln:
“…resolve to be honest…