Biglaw Partner Gets Benchslapped In Court Judgment For Treating Client As ‘Cash Cow’

Biglaw Partner Gets Benchslapped In Court Judgment For Treating Client As 'Cash Cow'

A partner at Cash Cow one Client of New York City’s top law firms was recently reprimanded by a court judge, who stated in his ruling that the attorney’s grossly inappropriate conduct reflected a callousness toward

[the] client that exceeds all possible bounds of decency. The partner was severely punished by the judge, and now faces three months of suspension from practicing law, a monetary fine, and a formal censure on his permanent record as an attorney.

The firm billed the client for personal expenses

There are many perks to working at a large law firm, but if you find yourself becoming a cash cow then it might be time to switch firms.

A Biglaw partner recently found this out the hard way. The partner at the American company was benched after billing his client for personal expenses that he never paid back.

He pleaded guilty and admitted to embezzling nearly $400,000 from the law firm in an agreement with prosecutors, which is like a deal with the devil when you’re facing criminal charges. It’s hard to tell how much was for personal use and how much was for use on behalf of clients.

The firm added extra fees on top of agreed upon hourly rate

Per the court documents, on one occasion, rather than billing a client for five hours of work, the Biglaw Partner added an hour and billed the client for six hours at his hourly rate of $250 per hour. The additional $1,000 in billing only netted the firm an extra $100.

The client also revealed that although he paid $15,000 in annual legal fees to the Firm, he had only received monthly invoices for approximately $6,000.

The firm was also reportedly keen on charging clients fees for handling simple administrative tasks or correspondence that they could easily have done themselves.

These charges included a $350 fee to respond to a motion, a $900 fee for redacting documents, and a whopping $3,200 charge for updating a website with news articles about their litigation. The firm would then send these extra charges straight to their client without bothering to run them by him first.

The attorney acts unethically, and firmly refuses to admit wrongdoing

The incident that led to the bench slapping was very egregious and thankfully is not representative of most Biglaw practices.

In summary, Mr. Attorney abused his power as an attorney by delegating a difficult task to a lower-level associate without any instruction and regards for the financial cost incurred.

The partners involved did not follow up on the problems caused by their associate nor did they offer compensation to avoid litigation.

Thankfully, after being put in her place during the trial, the judge, in this case, acknowledged this appalling behavior from a Biglaw partner and ordered firms to pay legal fees of $2 million and an additional $1 million to the client (at which point we would stop worrying).

This type of response gives us hope that people are beginning to take ethics seriously again in our field.

Law firm continues unethical billing practices

Despite being slapped with a benchslap for similar unethical billing practices in January of this year, it appears that Biglaw’s partner continues to milk clients for as much money as possible.

Having originally charged over $40,000 in fees has recently offered to drop its claim if pays them a further $12,750 on top of that. Despite representing them as a criminal defendant in his previous case,

they are now asking for tens of thousands more dollars from him despite having not done anything extra to earn it. When he declined to pay more than they were owed according to their original agreement, they claimed that by doing so he was breaking faith with them and sued him.

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Law firm gets hit with benchslap judgment

For several years, the client was led to believe that the firm had her best interests at heart, with one partner acting as a strong advocate for her.

But things changed when the focus shifted from defending against claims to seeking recovery. The client was asked to sign multiple contracts that she felt obligated to sign even though she did not understand them.

The client was asked to sign multiple contracts that she felt obligated to sign even though she did not understand them. According to her, a law firm partner told her you are nothing but a cash cow.

They sued her and she counter-sued. But despite ultimately prevailing in court and getting a judgment against them, they never paid up.

Her lawyer said their actions were part of an overall strategy designed to create anxiety and confusion with their client so that she would agree to pay millions of dollars for legal services that included an attorney’s fees clause entitling them to 33% of any recovery plus expenses.

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