Federal agents played a little game of “To Catch a Law Firm Partner” last week. After a few weeks of online chatting with Samuel P. Logan, 45, they lured the Foulston Siefkin partner to a mall to meet the 14-year-old girl named “stazie” to whom he thought he had been sending naked photos.
Instead of his online Lolita, Logan met up with some very-of-age FBI agents. He’s now been charged with enticing a minor to have sex and one count of sending and receiving child pornography, according to the Kansas City Star.
That’s all pretty outrageous, but the story gets much more scandalous…
When I worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, I’d sometimes hear colleagues joke about handing over their Justice Department credentials along with their driver’s license if pulled over for a moving violation. It was a joke because it was generally understood that trying to get out of a speeding ticket by flaunting one’s status as law enforcement was a bad idea (setting aside the ethical issues). The police officer might give you a free pass, or he might get ticked off at your attempt to take advantage of your position. You could end up with a scandal on your hands — the kind of scandal that could derail career ambitions.
This is a lesson that Iowa attorney Lisa Jones-Hall learned the hard way. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports:
A woman on track to become a Linn County prosecutor lost that chance after police pulled her over in Marion last month for having tinted windows. New dash cam video police released today shows Lisa Jones-Hall called the officer names and tried to use her new job to get out of the ticket. The officer asked Jones-Hall to sign a ticket because he said her windows were illegally tinted. But, she initially refused to sign it, called the officer names and then brought up the job she was supposed to start the following week.
“Ok. I want you to arrest me for having tinted windows. I start with the Linn County Prosecutor’s Office next Tuesday. I want you to arrest me for not signing this,” Jones-Hall told the officer.
After hearing about this incident, the Linn County Prosecutor’s Office decided not to hire Jones-Hall.
Hippocrate “Cheecho” Mertsaris: Does he have a weakness for judicial buttocks?
In a few weeks, an interesting trial will be getting underway in Queens Criminal Court here in New York. The underlying incident should provide fodder for either a Lawyer of the Day or a Judge of the Day — but it’s not clear which.
The episode giving rise to the criminal charges was reported back in May by the New York Daily News:
A disabled lawyer accused of touching the rear end of a Taxi and Limousine Commission judge is blaming it on his cerebral palsy. Queens prosecutors have charged Hippocrate Mertsaris, 35, with sexual abuse and sexual harassment for allegedly grabbing the woman’s inner thigh and buttocks during a meeting in her Kew Gardens offices.
Mertsaris’ lawyer, Wyatt Gibbons, admits his client touched the woman but denies it was sexual. “He whacked her in the butt but it wasn’t sexual abuse,” Gibbons said. “He has spastic movements.”
LeBron James, who’s your daddy? (Unfortunately, it’s not the Knicks, to Elie’s great dismay.) Could it be a Washington lawyer by the name of Leicester Bryce Stovell?
Stovell came forward this week, claiming to have knocked up Gloria James when she was 15 and to have genetic proof that he’s the King’s father. Like all good dads should, Stovell is suing his new-found son and baby mama for $4 million for denying paternity. TMZ reported on the lawsuit on Wednesday along with photos of Stovell, saying the resemblance is uncanny. At the very least, it’s true that they’re both tall.
[T]he man making the claim isn’t some schmuck — dude is a Princeton graduate … who earned a law degree from the University of Chicago … and then became a Senior Legal Advisor for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Au contraire. You can get a law degree from the U of Chicago and still be a schmuck. One of Stovell’s former colleagues attests to that…
Three years into his own scheme of dipping into clients’ funds, Maryland malpractice lawyer Bradley Schwartz received an e-mail from a man claiming to represent a manufacturing company in Singapore, offering him legal work…
What happened next, according to Montgomery County prosecutors, is that the scammer got scammed.
Schwartz pleaded guilty and now awaits sentencing. Oh, it is sweet when a thief gets his just reward…
Last Friday, we named Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Ama Dwimoh our Lawyer of the Day. As a prosecutor, Dwimoh goes after child abusers. And yet, according to the New York Daily News — irony alert! — she herself abuses the kiddies, i.e., legal interns in her office.
One reader with firsthand knowledge protested this portrayal of the Brooklyn DA’s office and its treatment of interns:
I’m [a law student] intern at the KCDAO [Kings County District Attorney's Office], and from everything I’ve heard from all of my intern colleagues, the senior ADA’s have been nothing less than amazing — they find us work to do, always treat us with respect, always make us feel appreciated, and the office is gloriously drama-free.
This tipster has a theory about what’s going on here….
Our typical Lawyer of the Day is an attorney you’ve never heard of, from a firm you’ve never heard of. It’s highly unusual for LOTD honors to go to a pair of legal titans, two of the nation’s leading litigators: Ted Wells (pictured) and Marty Flumenbaum, the co-chair and former chair, respectively, of the celebrated litigation department at Paul Weiss.
It appears, however, that the honors are deserved. The New York Law Journal reports:
A New Jersey judge has sanctioned two firms, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Lowenstein Sandler, for pursuing a “frivolous” and “ridiculous” legal claim on behalf of billionaire Ronald Perelman against his 85-year-old ex-father-in-law [Robert Cohen]….
Superior Court Judge Ellen L. Koblitz ruled that Perelman’s attorneys should have known that the claim was unsupportable. “No competent attorney could have missed the frivolous nature of this promise claim once the unhelpful testamentary documents were received,” Koblitz said in ordering the sanctions last Wednesday. “There was no legal or factual basis for the plaintiffs to proceed with their amended complaint given the evidence they had and the state of the law in New Jersey.”
Ouch — quite the stinging benchslap. The Garden State hasn’t seen such a slugging since the first season of Jersey Shore.
And other marquee names got dragged into this mess — a pair of high-powered lady lawyers, in fact….
Would you shed your bra for a client? Earlier this month, Miami attorney Brittney Horstman did just that, while trying to pay a visit to a client at the Miami Federal Detention Center — but it did not help her case.
When Horstman visited the center on June 4, she set the metal detector off. The guards at the detention center barred her from entering while wearing a bra with underwire. The prison dress code doesn’t bar the bras, but it appears to be informal policy at the prison — presumably because an inmate might use the metal to make a Victoria’s Secret shiv and bust out.
So Horstman went to the bathroom and took her bra off. But the guards again declined to let her enter. From the Miami Herald:
In blouse and jacket, she returned, and cleared the walk-through detector.
Again, guards refused to let her pass — now, because she was braless, which is against prison dress code guidelines.
Apparently this has happened before, and there’s a special memo allowing defense attorneys to enter the center wearing a wire (bra). As women know, it’s hard to find a bra without underwire, after all…
One summer associate story from years past involved an SA who simply stopped showing up to work for several days. Given how big summer classes were back then (not like today), and how much misbehavior was tolerated in those halcyon days, it took a surprisingly long time for the perpetrator to get in trouble.
The fellow got no-offered. But some observers wondered whether his conduct really was that egregious, viewed against the standards of the time. Summer associates weren’t actually expected to, you know, work back then.
And summer associates don’t really have “clients.” Wisconsin lawyer Scott Fisher, who pulled a similar vanishing act, did….
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months (Robert Kinney and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong again March 15 to 23), and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
Are you challenged by the costs and logistics of maintaining your office, distracting you from the practice of law?
Many small firms are successfully moving part—or even all—of their practice to a virtual setting. This even includes multi-jurisdictional practice spanning several states and practice areas, although solo and small partnerships are still the largest adopters of virtual law.
Can you do the same? The new article Mobile in Practice, Virtual by Design from author Jared Correia, Esq., explores how mobile technology bring real-life benefits to a small law firm. Read this new article—the next in Thomson Reuters’ Independent Thinking series for small firms—to explore how a mobile practice:
Everyone is talking about the importance of Social Media in Corporate America. But it is relatively safe to say that most law firms and lawyers are slightly behind the social curve. Most lawyers, at minimum, use LinkedIn, for networking. Some even use Twitter for pushing out short, pithy content, while many have Blogs, where they write their little hearts out. The adage “it is better to give than to receive” is not always true though in the world of Social. In the Social World – it is best to listen, give back and engage.
Social Media is a communications tool that can deeply educate you about the needs and wants of your clients and prospects when used in conjunction social media monitoring and sharing tools.
Take this quick quiz and see if you know how to use Social to help you engage more with your clients or to better service the ones you have.