Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Greedy Lawyers Going to Jail

The Bad Lawyer has been following the tale of two lawyers: Scott Rothstein and Michael Marguiles both former high-fliers who are heading to prison after being caught in federal crimes driven by--well in the words of Rothstein, "greed, narcissisism and self[-seeking] " 

At the link is the account of Marguiles's current status.  Marguiles (pic right) is a Minneapolis lawyer who embezzled nearly $2 million dollars from client and his law firm which he stuffed into the rehabilitation of a beautiful mansion.According to the Twin Cities Press story  Marguiles had been a partner at Lindquist & Vennum, one of the Twin Cities' most prestigious law firms, and he lived in a $1.5 million mansion on Summit Ave. He was a member of the St. Paul planning commission and served on the board of the Children's Theater Company in Minneapolis.

Rothstein's crimes are related to a billion dollar Ponzi scheme.  The Rothstein narrative is on the level of a Michael Connelly or a Lee Child thriller.  Rothstein is a character, often compared inartfully in the Florida press to Jay Gatsby.  The point is that Rothstein's avarice and superficiality and those that politicians (Governor Charlie Crist, Fla. AG Bill McCollum among many other republican and democratic officeholders) makes a fantastic illustration of what not to do with your law license--and further proof that every road is a toll road.  Rothstein had it all, till he didn't now he's looking at 50 years in the federal penitentiary.  

At the link, check out the Rothstein toys taken at the time of his arrest.  You'll probably notice that there is a large element of schadenfreude going on in the coverage of Rothstein's fall.  Florida is a funny place, there is an enormous amount of affluence, particularly manifestations of "new wealth."  My family was once able to afford to vacation in and around Sanibel Island and Fort Myers.  After Hurricane Charley we spent a week in Naples, Florida and I must say the expressions of wealth evident in cars that cruised town roads were head-turning, and I thought I was pretty jaded.  So there's a little hypocrisy going on in the local stories about Rothstein, you see Rothstein looks exactly like what some aspect of what Florida has always looked like to me.

You'll be relieved to know that a goodly chunk of the Florida Bar will be or is currently under license suspension or disbarment for involvement in Rothstein's rackets.  Unemployed Juris Doctors I smell opportunity! 

Stay out of trouble, file your tax returns, and return your phone calls.

No comments:

Post a Comment