Nevada lawyer steals $400K from clients, draws five-year suspension

by Walter Olson on February 24, 2009

Because actually disbarring him would just have been too mean, at least in the eyes of the Nevada Supreme Court. Douglas Crawford blamed depression and gambling addiction for his client thefts. [ABA Journal]


1 SmartGuy 02.24.09 at 12:33 am

Bar Association discipline is a sick joke: Criminals judging other criminals. Consumer control of the bar is obviously needed. Remove attorney discipline and place it in the hands of independent consumer agencies.

2 Roy B 02.24.09 at 10:19 am

So, he stole $400K, why was he not arrested and brought to trial? This is a truely egregious thumbing of the nose at the rule of law.

3 throckmorton 02.24.09 at 2:17 pm

I agree with Roy B. Isn’t this a felony and why was his licence to practice law not revoked? Why is he not in prison?

4 Bill Poser 02.24.09 at 3:11 pm

To be fair, he can’t simply resume his practice in five years. Regaining his license is conditioned on his making restitution and on successful treatment for his gambling addiction. Without knowing more details of the case, I don’t think that this is necessarily a bad decision. Somebody who shows that he is without a conscience and vicious, or whose problems, however understandable, show no sign of terminating, should be struck off, but in a case like this, where this is arguably a decent person with a problem, it seems reasonable to give him a chance to clean up his life.

5 Bob Lipton 02.26.09 at 2:17 pm

Everyone develops a conscience when they are caught.


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