A “staff attorney at the Deepwater Horizon Court Supervised Settlement Program… was suspended after being accused of accepting fees from law firms while processing their clients’ claims from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.” [Bloomberg] And that’s just the start of what may be much wider problems, according to a cover story by Paul Barrett at Bloomberg Business Week. “The craziest thing about the settlement,” one lawyer wrote in a client-solicitation letter, “is that you can be compensated for losses that are UNRELATED to the spill.” [Bloomberg Business Week] Barrett’s account tells, in his own words, “how the private-claims process following BP’s (BP) 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill devolved into a plaintiffs’-lawyer feeding frenzy.” [BBW]
FBI looks at allegations Dallas DA filed fraud suit as favor to donor [Free Beacon]
“Suing ex-client for $500K in divorce fees led to disbarment ruling for former bar president” [Virginia; former "titan" of D.C. matrimonial bar, ABA Journal]
“Appeals court cuts ‘unconscionable’ estate legal bill from $44M to perhaps $3M” [ABA Journal on Graubard Miller / Alice Lawrence case, earlier]
Empirical puzzler: advent of lawyer advertising doesn’t seem to have had the expected fee-reducing effect [Nora Freeman Engstrom, SSRN via LEF] Law firm marketers were all over the Metro-North crash case [Eric Turkewitz]
“DOJ Inspector General’s report: US Attorney unlawfully leaked to discredit critic” [of "Fast and Furious" operation; John Steele]
“Lawyer accused of bilking real estate investors through false claims of criminal probes takes plea” [New Jersey; ABA Journal]
If you find it hard to believe opponents would gin up flimsy “speech-gave-offense” charges against Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Jones, recall the earlier ginned-up (and now mostly forgotten) charges against distinguished appellate judges DennisJacobs and AlexKozinski.
A Houston-based trial lawyer has some grandiose plans for snagging New York storm-insurance cases: Steve Mostyn “indicates his firm should be able to take on more than $1 billion in disputed claims — or half of all the Sandy litigation.” That’s assuming clients sign on, of course. One who did was a swim club owner from Pound Ridge who was frustrated dealing with New York lawyers and quickly signed a contract with Mostyn’s firm: “It is worth the 40 percent just for someone to listen to my story and be kind to me,” she said. [Austin American-Statesman]
Rochester’s Jim Shapiro (“I cannot rip out the hearts of those who hurt you. I cannot hand you their severed heads“) is not the only injury lawyer who advertises as “The Hammer.” Natasha Lydon offers a YouTube-powered guide to the various injury lawyers to have adopted that monicker [Above the Law]
And if that happens to involve disguising your legal marketing effort as a disease-information site, well, who’s to stop you? [Ad Age] We’ve covered the issue in the past, e.g., here, here, here, and here.
A park-bench ad — and really, what better way to select a lawyer for an important matter? — advertises “Injury Law Group, LLC — Successful, Greedy, Attorneys — We Won’t Let You Settle Cheap.” [@mattniemi] The sponsors appear to be this Pittsburgh-based lawyer network.
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