Monday, October 23, 2006
The Daily Business Review reports on law.com here that the government is seeking forfeiture of attorney fees on a recent white collar case in Miami. The case, a bank fraud case, has prosecutors claiming that the attorney fees came from tainted money. In this particular case the attorneys tried the case in a 4½-month trial. Obviously they also had pre-trial preparation and the cost of experts. Federal prosecutors in Miami are also going after attorney fees in another case, the Hamilton Bank-related case discussed here. In that case the defendant received a 30-year sentence.
Taking away attorney fees after representation of a client at a long trial can be devastating to the attorney's business and livelihood. In some cases it may also place in jeopardy the right to counsel, as attorneys in other white collar cases start weighing whether they should represent a client who might be subject to a forfeiture.
(esp)(w/ a hat tip to Erick Cruz)