Posts Tagged ‘attorneys’

Lawyer’s Involvement in Ponzi Schemes

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

We have written before on our observation that nearly every Ponzi scheme seems to involve an attorney at one level or another.  Following a three week trial, a California federal jury recently found the Silicon Valley Law Group was not liable for legal malpractice due to its involvement in negotiating the sale of a real estate investment firm to Ponzi Schemer Edward Okun.  Okun, who is currently serving 100 years in jail as the result of his $126 million Ponzi scheme, purchased 1031 Advance, the real estate investment firm, and the Silicon Valley Law Group represented 1031 Advance in the purchase.   Okun gutted the company, and after it entered bankruptcy, the trustee sued the Silicon Valley Law Group.  The law suit asserted if due diligence was properly performed, then Silicon Valley Law Group would have discovered Okun was a thief.

As always, after a Ponzi scheme, those who suffered losses will seek to recover their losses.  With justification or not, attorneys are frequently the target of these recovery attempts.  Legal malpractice avoidance requires attorneys keep a careful eye out for the specter of Charles Ponzi.  This, of course, is difficult as swindlers do not become successful unless they have the ability to convince people they are not swindlers.

-Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire


Ethical Issues Regarding Letters of Protection

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

Here is an interesting opinion piece from the Hanford, California Sentinel regarding the enforcement of letters of protection (promises by attorneys to pay clients’ doctors’ bills out of lawsuit recovery, a type of medical lien).  Apparently, the California Bar used to investigate cases where attorneys allegedly disregarded letters of protection, but are now taking a hands of approach.  Letters of protection in general involve a number of interesting ethical and practical issues  for attorneys,  medical providers, and clients.  The most important ethical rule for both attorneys and medical providers is not to put their own financial interests in front of the clients.  The value of the letter of protection for the client should always be considered before signing a letter of protection.

-Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire  (H.T. B.C.B.)