Judging from our traffic stats and the many emails we’ve received about it, the story of the document controversy involving Greenberg Traurig and its former client, TD Bank, has captured the interest of our Floridian readers. So we’ll do one more story about it for now (and then we may keep our powder dry until after the contempt hearing later this month before Judge Marcia Cooke, when there will be bigger news to report).
In our first story, we discussed the allegations made against Greenberg Traurig and one of its former shareholders, Donna Evans. In our second story, we raised some points in defense of ex-partner Evans and her former firm. We believe in providing both sides of a story here at ATL.
Now we’ll share with you a final rebuttal by critics of GT and Evans….
Various sources — who are not fans of Greenberg Traurig or Donna Evans, in the interest of full disclosure — raised the following points in response to our last story:
1. If Donna Evans is so blameless, then why is she no longer a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig? Firms and clients can be demanding, to be sure, but at the same time, some mistakes are tolerated. What did Evans allegedly do that resulted in her no longer being at Greenberg?
2. “The Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme (i.e., the fake investments) was run out of TD, not Gibraltar.” (This was in response to the claim that Rothstein ran his scheme out of Gibraltar Bank during the relevant time period.)
3. “What are the chances that a senior VP [at TD Bank] simply didn’t realize the ['Standard Investigative Protocol'] document existed, when lower-level employees knew about it? And how diligently could the bank have attempted to locate the document if it existed?”
4. “As for the [relevance of the Standard Investigative Protocol], it’s quite relevant. That the bank didn’t adhere to its ‘standard’ protocol/policies helps establish a requisite element of the claim asserted against it, i.e., knowledge of Rothstein’s fraud (a bank’s failure to adhere to policies and procedures is circumstantial evidence that it knew of the fraudulent conduct). This document would warrant 40 minutes of questions in any deposition and the attendant sound bites would be damning (even ‘I don’t know’ is a good answer).”
5. “What’s getting lost in all of this is that this is [not the first] large fraud case in which the GT trial team has been nailed on…. Don’t get me wrong, GT is a top-notch firm. Amazing lawyers. And the trial team on this was top notch. But once the decision was made to go to a jury trial, a case like this perhaps required bringing in [a different kind of firm]. This case was a circus — [plaintiffs' lawyer] David Mandel was repeatedly ringing a bell during his closing argument or stating ‘Frank is the bank’ — and you needed a helluva showman/woman to step up for the bank and weave a compelling counter-story.”
6. “This case should have been settled a long time ago. The jury deliberated less than six hours before coming back with the verdict. Simply, no way does a BANK win at trial in a case with facts like this, in a town where everyone is getting foreclosed on or knows somebody in such a situation.”
And that’s it for now; we try to limit the amount of substantive law that we cover in these pages. But we’ll have more coverage, of course, after the contempt hearing before Judge Cooke. If you have additional information about these matters — preferably of a fun, interesting, personality-driven nature, as opposed to just more back-and-forth about the underlying facts and the “Standard Investigative Protocol” (yawn) — please feel free to email us or text us (646-820-8477). Thanks.
UPDATE (5/21/2012): Here’s what happened at the contempt hearing.