f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

September 10, 2003

J.D. in Absentia

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:29 am

Startng today, New York Lawyer is syndicating a book by two lawyers who claim they attended virtually no classes (at Harvard and Stanford), led wild lifestyles instead, and each graduated in 1998 to jobs in top firms.   As NYL puts it:


“In their book Brush With the Law: The Turbulent True Story of Law School Today at Stanford and Harvard, co-authors and practicing attorneys Jamie Marquart and Robert Byrnes explain how they mastered getting a J.D. in absentia.”


Over the years, I have often said I would have been a far better person, and not any less of a law student, if I had slept in rather than attending classes.  (Those 8 AM Antitrust classes with Prof. Breyer were especially painful.)   It irked me that I was too conventional or worried to stop wasting my time on classes that seemed pointless for anyone willing to do the reading assignments.  It never even crossed my mind to head for casinos and bordellos instead (maybe because of my limited budget).  

 

From an ethical perspective, missing out on law school classes seems to have virtually no relationship to future competence — although it might suggest a certain lack of diligence.   On the other hand, these guys probably aren’t billing clients for unnecessary tasks.  You can check out the serial installments every Wednesday.

J.D. in Absentia

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:29 am

Startng today, New York Lawyer is syndicating a book by two lawyers who claim they attended virtually no classes (at Harvard and Stanford), led wild lifestyles instead, and each graduated in 1998 to jobs in top firms.   As NYL puts it:


“In their book Brush With the Law: The Turbulent True Story of Law School Today at Stanford and Harvard, co-authors and practicing attorneys Jamie Marquart and Robert Byrnes explain how they mastered getting a J.D. in absentia.”


Over the years, I have often said I would have been a far better person, and not any less of a law student, if I had slept in rather than attending classes.  (Those 8 AM Antitrust classes with Prof. Breyer were especially painful.)   It irked me that I was too conventional or worried to stop wasting my time on classes that seemed pointless for anyone willing to do the reading assignments.  It never even crossed my mind to head for casinos and bordellos instead (maybe because of my limited budget).  

 

From an ethical perspective, missing out on law school classes seems to have virtually no relationship to future competence — although it might suggest a certain lack of diligence.   On the other hand, these guys probably aren’t billing clients for unnecessary tasks.  You can check out the serial installments every Wednesday.

Ethics Charges Come Late in Miami Benlate Case

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:00 am

The Miami Daily Business Review/law.com reports that the Florida Bar has brought ethics charges against two Miami attorneys for alleged violations committed almost a decade ago relating to Benlate settlements with DuPont. (“Miami Attorneys Face Bar Investigations Over Benlate Settlement,” by Matthew Haggman, 09-10-2003) According to the article:


[Louis V. Vendittelli and Phillip J. Sheehe] are charged with concealing the details of the settlement agreement from two clients and, as a result, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The complaints also allege that the two lawyers later knowingly misled the court about details of the settlement.

The partners are alleged to have violated a dozen rules of professional conduct.  The article outlines the basic facts alleged.  Both attorneys deny any wrongdoing.

 

We don’t know the strength of the case against Vendittelli and Sheehe, but ethicalEsq? is pleased to see an ethics committee willing to tackle an old and complex grievance.   If the charges are upheld, we believe that discipline delayed can still serve justice well, and prove a strong deterence against similar covert fraud and deception.


  • Verbal Quibble from Jackie Cliente: The MDBR reporter noted: “Ironically, this is not the first time plaintiff attorneys have been charged with unethical conduct in a Benlate case with DuPont.”  The Word Usage Panel (WUP) at ethicalEsq? is scandalized by the misuse of the perfectly good adverb “ironically.”  There is no incongruity between what has happened and what was expected to happen and, thus, no irony.  We suggest the substitution of words such as “coincidentally” or “improbably” for the misused “ironically,” or the omission of an adverb, letting the sentence stand on its own facts.  

Ethics Charges Come Late in Miami Benlate Case

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:00 am

The Miami Daily Business Review/law.com reports that the Florida Bar has brought ethics charges against two Miami attorneys for alleged violations committed almost a decade ago relating to Benlate settlements with DuPont. (“Miami Attorneys Face Bar Investigations Over Benlate Settlement,” by Matthew Haggman, 09-10-2003) According to the article:


[Louis V. Vendittelli and Phillip J. Sheehe] are charged with concealing the details of the settlement agreement from two clients and, as a result, pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The complaints also allege that the two lawyers later knowingly misled the court about details of the settlement.

The partners are alleged to have violated a dozen rules of professional conduct.  The article outlines the basic facts alleged.  Both attorneys deny any wrongdoing.

 

We don’t know the strength of the case against Vendittelli and Sheehe, but ethicalEsq? is pleased to see an ethics committee willing to tackle an old and complex grievance.   If the charges are upheld, we believe that discipline delayed can still serve justice well, and prove a strong deterence against similar covert fraud and deception.


  • Verbal Quibble from Jackie Cliente: The MDBR reporter noted: “Ironically, this is not the first time plaintiff attorneys have been charged with unethical conduct in a Benlate case with DuPont.”  The Word Usage Panel (WUP) at ethicalEsq? is scandalized by the misuse of the perfectly good adverb “ironically.”  There is no incongruity between what has happened and what was expected to happen and, thus, no irony.  We suggest the substitution of words such as “coincidentally” or “improbably” for the misused “ironically,” or the omission of an adverb, letting the sentence stand on its own facts.  

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