October 11, 2016
Debtor was a disbarred lawyer who did not want to pay a fee for a personal injury case that he received to another lawyer.
- Debtor was a disbarred attorney
- Case settled for $1,980,000.
- Disbarred attorney received $661,879.92 but did not pay the other attorney who was entitled to a split of the award.
- Disbarred attorney filed for Bankruptcy before paying the money owed to other attorney.
- Disbarred attorney took the position with the Court that the debtor was dischargeable and he did not owe anything further.
- Disbarred attorney claimed that his client never agreed to the split fees.
- Court found that client was informed.
- Since there was no evidence that the client objected to the split fee arrangement, agreement was valid.
- Knowing that the other attorney had not received his fees, disbarred attorney paid himself, clients, a friend, employees and at least one other attorney.
- Disbarred attorney promised to pay from a settlement from another case but never did.
Bankruptcy Court Decision
- Debt was nondischargeable and Disbarred attorney was to pay the split fee.
- The acts of conversation of the money to avoid paying were Willful and Malicious and, therefore, non-dischargeable.
No wonder this attorney was disbarred – his actions in bankruptcy court demonstrate his inability to follow ethical conduct. Shame on him…..Justice prevailed.