Lawyer of the Day

Lawyer of the Day: Arelia Margarita Taveras

Arelia Margarita Taveras attorney Arelia Taveras lawyer gambler Above the Law blog.jpgToday’s Lawyer of the Day is, in blackjack parlance, “a natural” — utterly unbeatable. From the New York Post:

A crooked Queens lawyer who bottomed out at the blackjack tables to the tune of $1 million is trying to recoup her losses and then some with a $20 million lawsuit blaming seven casinos for her downward spiral.

Arelia Margarita Taveras, 37 – who represented victims’ families in both the World Trade Center attacks and the Flight 587 crash in the Rockaways – said her gambling problem was so out of control she once spent five straight days at Resorts Casino tables in Atlantic City subsisting on complimentary candy bars and orange juice.

The Corona native and Cardozo Law School graduate was a regular at several gaming palaces – even keeping her dog by her side and brushing her teeth with disposable wipes so she wouldn’t lose her seat.

We commend Ms. Taveras for her chutzpah and ingenuity. Taking a $1 million gambling loss and parlaying it into a $20 million lawsuit is an audacious play. Lemons into lemonade, indeed.
More after the jump.

“I would pass out at the tables. They had a duty of care to me,” Taveras told The Post yesterday. “Nobody in their right mind would gamble for four or five straight days without sleeping.”

“They [the casinos] knew I was going for days without eating or sleeping.”

Clearly she never worked in Biglaw. At least gambling is a fun reason for giving up sleep.
Additional support for Arelia Taveras as Lawyer of the Day:

Not only did she lose nearly $1 million, her bad habits cost her the license to practice law, her apartment and her parents’ home.

On top of that, she faces a laundry list of criminal charges filed by the Queens DA – including grand larceny and forgery – for bilking four clients out of $99,142.

And she owes the IRS another $58K.
So how did she start down this path?

In September 2003 she started going regularly to the New Jersey gambling mecca to unwind. She said she also gambled at other casinos but spent most of her time – and money – at Resorts, dropping $850,000 there in two years.

During one five-day gambling jag there in June 2005, Taveras says she existed on nothing but orange juice and Snickers bars that staff gave her.

Orange juice and Snickers bars, for a gambler losing as much as $5,000 an hour? Sounds like Resorts has a pretty crappy comps policy. She should have gone to Vegas — or at least the Borgata.

(hidden for your protection)

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