Thursday, April 9, 2009
Courtesy of Legal Ethics Forum, here is a link to a statement describing the basis for criminal charges against a former employee of the California State Bar alleging embezzlement of over $675,000 from Bar funds. According to the affidavit, the accused was responsible for managing the Bar's real estate and had kept two sets of books. The scheme unraveled in the wake of a payment from a commercial tenant named Caboodle Cartridge.
When things like this happen on the watch of a practicing lawyer, sanctions for failure to supervise a non-lawyer employee may be imposed for violation of the state's version of Model Rule 5.3. A quick review of California's ethics rules did not reveal to me any comparable rule governing the conduct of members of the California Bar.
Update: here's a link to an analysis of supervisory duties in California from the Cornell Law library. (Mike Frisch)