November 22, 2012
Texas Attorney Receives Probation For Misappropriation of Her Family's Estates
Michelle Valicek, a recently disbarred San Antonio attorney, received probation after she pleaded no contest to a charge that she had misappropriated funds from several of her family member's estates. The prosecutor on the case, Joanne Woodruff, reported that Valicek had stolen money from the estates and used it to purchase "an expensive house, a car and piano for herself." As a result of the case, Valicek voluntarily relinquished her license to practice law. She ultimately admitted that she made some mistakes in managing her grandmother's and her grandmother's nephew's estate.
The judge probably agreed with Valicek and sentenced her to 10 years of probation. The judge could have sentenced her to ten years in prison. Now that the case is over, there are still a lot of questions that need to be asked. The primary one is where did half a million dollars that is gone from the estate go? There were also a number of questionable deals made by Valicek. For example, a neighbor of one relative noted that Valicek sold a relative's house for much less than what it was worth. If Valicek seeks to have her license restored she will need to wait five years after her probation is complete. At that time she will be 69 years old.
See Brian Mylar, Disgraced SA Lawyer Given Probation in Estate Case, KSAT.com, Nov. 20, 2012.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
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This seems like a pretty light punishment. We as attorneys have a serious responsibility. She has some real defects of character that will probably not change over time.
Posted by: Steven J Fromm | Nov 22, 2012 11:08:50 AM