Monday, April 1, 2013

Do The Crime; Do The Time. But Should You Be Disbarred?

The RJ reported on Friday that local bankruptcy attorney Randolph Goldberg (as seen on tv) has reached a deal with federal prosecutors relating to four counts of tax evasion. His deal, which is subject to approval by Judge Navarro at the May 23 sentencing hearing, involves pleading guilty to one count, serving 18 months in prison, giving up his law license for 2 years, and paying up to $400,000 in restitution.

Understandably, the comments on the article are typical, classic digs at the legal community and raise some valid points. One of the more prominent issues that arise from a situation like this is whether an attorney that commits a crime and serves time should be disbarred. This will obviously be an issue for the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board to address in the coming months, but what do you think should happen? Does it make any difference that this is rather high profile because of his prolific tv commercials?

10 comments:

  1. If your crime involves you knowingly and intentionally committing a fraud crime against the US Government, then I think the attorney should be disbarred if found guilty or if he/she pleads guilty. It's not something that can be 'mitigated' by 'rehab'. The guy has a post-doc LLM in tax - he knows what he did and what he was doing.

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  2. I think it's funny that at one point I saw him driving a car with vanity plates that said "txlwyr" or something to that effect.

    I always that it was interesting he wanted to be known as a tax lawyer and not the guy who does cut rate bk filings.

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  3. He should be disbarred, drawn and quartered and burned at the stake after being lead down 4th street in stockades with a shaved head with a "kick me" sign on his back.

    But seriously - 8:42 brings up a really good point - do you think someone who intentionally commits fraud can learn his lesson and get a second chance to practice law? I doubt it.

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  4. Since when can a Federal Court enforce a deal that he give up his law license for two years?

    Last time I checked that was the purview of the State Bar. They can do whatever they want, including nothing. The relevant SCR only requires that he report the felony conviction, not that the bar does anything about it.

    Despite what you think about Goldberg, sounds like a prosecutor pushing the limits on his authority. Perish the thought.

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  5. 12:49 is mostly correct. They can make a term of his Plea Agreement that he voluntarily surrender his license for a period of 2 years (which of course does not stop the State Bar from imposing different decision). But like the USA negotiating a settlement of Kirk Henry's personal injury case as a term of a plea bargain, this is an odd deal.

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  6. I have had clients state that he told them to take out payday loans to cover his legal fees. Though it was only a rumor, these ethics are not unheard of in the bankruptcy arena (just uncommon - thankfully).

    His ethical issues will likely result with his disbarment. Whether or not he will be readmitted will have to wait to be seen. I have heard of similar people getting readmitted after the fact. It depends on who is on the committee when he reapplies.

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  7. http://news.yahoo.com/scm-judge-issues-sanction-against-health-plan-nevada-022611122.html;_ylt=AwrNUbH_CltRbh8AQn7QtDMD

    Being Bob Eglet looks like fun

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  8. We have a few felons who were readmitted. Everything from murder to insurance fraud.

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  9. I hear that Tony Liker is taking over the practice.

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