The ABAJournal tips to this story at the Chicago Tribune involving a law firm office manager who stole $218,000 from the Goldberg Law Group accounts to pay her personal credit card bills. Amazing how often this happens, equally astonishing is how rarely there is any disciplinary consequence for the lawyers, unless of course the lawyers happen to be solo practitioners. And trust me, I'm not suggesting that any of these Goldberg lawyers deserve sanctioning, this sort of theft by employees is unfortunately routine, how would they know?
But, look at the disparate treatment of the solo practitioner who is somehow expected to practice law, accounting, marketing, continuing legal education, correspondence, return all phone calls, tax, and employment law and never be late to court. If the secretary or bookkeeper takes that lawyer or client funds--that's on the solo practitioner. He or she will be disciplined. If it happens in a firm--oh, say the size sufficient to have a marble foyer, or able to make substantial financial contributions to political and judicial races, and,or entertain summer associates--those thefts are all on the secretary, bookkeeper, or office manager.