Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Lyle Yurko, Please Return Your Phone Calls!
This is from the Glenn Counts' article about Yurko's disappearance at the Observer:
"A Charlotte attorney has seemingly disappeared and now the state bar is taking action. Many of Lyle Yurko's friends say they haven't seen him for months. Neither have his clients. 'His friends are very concerned for him and they wish him the very best,' said attorney Fredrick Winiker, who has been appointed trustee over Yurko's practice. 'It's very unusual. It's a process that is designed by the state bar to help address situations where there is a sole practitioner attorney.' Yurko is considered to be one of the most brilliant legal minds in the state. In 2004, Charlotte Magazine named him as one of the toughest lawyers in town. According to an order from the N.C. State Bar, it appears that Yurko has vanished, abandoning his law practice. . .
It's possible that Yurko is out of the country. A couple of years ago he married a woman in Vietnam and has spent considerable time in that country. Whatever the reasons for his disappearance, the state bar fears that his clients will suffer. That's why the bar appointed Winiker to watch over the practice.
'The danger is that they won't have adequate representation in the court system,' Winiker said. 'They may not be advised of pending court dates and be assessed penalties by the court for failing to appear when it really was not their fault.'
'This is a sad matter where there are incarcerated clients with no lawyer. They paid for services and now have no attorney,' said Claire Rauscher, head of the federal public defender office."
Interesting story for several reasons, obviously the implication for clients is concern number one, and we will see how well problems relating to the disappearance pan out for clients who become "prejudiced" by the disappearance of Yurko. But also compelling for me is what the story says about the pressure on the solo practitioner. It is unrelenting, and I know many a lawyer who has fantasized about walking away. As you can see form this story the weight of client concerns is unremitting, add in law office management, health, and personal pressures. I hope Mr. Yurko is alive and well, but the Bad Lawyer also appreciates the insanity of solo practice and the toll that it takes.