January 16, 2009
Failure To Report Felony Results In Disbarment
The Nebraska Supreme Court disbarred an attorney who had been convicted on his plea of guilty of failure to report the felonious activities of his client. The lawyer handled land use matters and also practiced (and was disbarred) in Florida. His client was on the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners and had purchased a parcel of undeveloped land in a place called Nine Gems. The client had used his public position to advance and leverage the sale of Nine Gems to the county.
The factual basis for the plea was that the attorney had learned that the client had misused his public position before the sale had closed and had failed to report the client's self-dealings to authorities. (Mike Frisch)
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The Nebraska court fails to explain why it chose to deviate from the 3-year suspension handed down in the original Florida disciplinary proceeding.
Posted by: FixedWing | Jan 16, 2009 9:40:57 AM
The crime, misprision, by its terms includes only failure to report, but an element read into it is the affirmative act of concealment. Indeed, when you read the synopsis of what he did, he was really a co-conspirator: the "client's" interest in the property was hidden, and the lawyer used a shell trust, with his wife as beneficiary and his employee as "trustee." Presumably he split the money with the "client" from the crooked sale.
I can't believe Florida was so lenient on him. But, obviously, he was friends with some politicians.
Posted by: JJ | Jan 19, 2009 10:12:44 PM