“Lawyer charged with stealing over $600,000 in client settlement money”

by Walter Olson on May 21, 2009

According to Manhattan D.A. Robert Morgenthau, New York lawyer Marc Bernstein “settled these cases pretty cheap, then took the money and ran.” [NY Daily News, press release] Meanwhile: “Prominent Arkansas plaintiffs securities lawyer Gene Cauley is expected to plead guilty for failing to pay clients $9.3 million in settlement funds he was supposed to be holding as their escrow agent.” [ABA Journal, earlier] According to a report dated February (PDF) from the ABA’s Center for Professional Responsibility, New York is among the states that have adopted payee notification reforms intended to catch this category of fraud at an early stage; Arkansas has not. For more on payee notification, see my 2006 paper with Peter Morin.