QMy friend just left a small, three-person boutique firm to start up her own practice, in the same field. Her boss is one of those uber-respected lawyers in his field—lots of name-recognition, lots of love. The problem is, he’s not only disgusting (referring to his autistic son as “retarded,” making hiring decisions on how big someone’s boobs are, using the n-word after clients leave), he’s also an ethical disaster. He commingles client funds, holds onto awards given to clients and won’t give them back (with or without interest), won’t bill clients until they ask for their award and then tells them he spent $10K on copies, costs clients appeals by missing court—I could go on.
I think this scum should be reported to the State Ethics Commission—I’d do it myself, but I don’t have first-hand knowledge. His clients don’t want to do it because they’re scared he’ll hurt them financially or legally. And my friend won’t do it because she worked for the scum for five years, so she’d be disciplined too for failing to come forward earlier (though she didn’t know about all of this the entire time).
Can anything be done? I’m not looking for a vendetta here—well, okay, I kinda am. Especially for the “retarded” comment, given that his clients are special-needs kids. But I mainly want to prevent him from stealing money and costing cases for other future clients, if at all possible. I don’t think these things should go unreported, but from all I hear about legal ethics, it sounds like they usually do.
AWho the hell is this guy? Don Corleone? John Gotti? Why would his clients be afraid to report him for stealing their money? In any event, of course something can be done. I’m not an ethics expert, but I’m sure there’s some sort of legal/ethical process that can be initiated here that would both punish this alleged scumbag and protect his future clients.
I bet some of our readers know more about this than I do. Bitter Lawyers, any advice for our disgruntled and outraged friend?