Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Empty Stockings


  • Here are a few more details on Robert Graham and LawyersWest. [RJ]
  • Facing life in prison, Erik Nowsch plans to keep fighting. [Fox5Vegas]
  • Civil bench bar meeting today. [eighthjdcourt blog]

42 comments:

  1. If Rob stole more than $13M from his Nevada clients, it stands to reason he also likely stole millions from his clients in Colorado, where he actually lives. And yet, I haven't heard a peep about Colorado authorities taking any action. Surely the Nevada Bar has contacted the Colorado bar.

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  2. He may live in Colorado but I don't think he is licensed in Colorado. Colorado only lists one "Robert Graham" licensed in that state and that guy has a different middle initial and different address than LawyerWest. http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/Search/AttyResults.asp

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    1. No - he nor his wife are bar passed in Colorado.

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    2. In the early 90's, you did not need to take Colorado Bar as long as you had 5 years practice licensed somewhere else. They had a very generous waive in rule. You just needed to apply.

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    3. Well - seems that rule went by the wayside. Graham and family moved there in sometime around 2011. Sources indicate that he and his wife were attempting to take a uniform bar exam, but that never came to fruition. They were forced to hire CO bar passed attorneys (very green), as they were not able to practice themselves in CO.

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    4. The rule to waive into Colorado with 5 years practice (or very high MBE Scores) was abolished in 1997. So he might have lived there and managed the practice there but was not licensed there.

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    5. The Review Journal articles all indicate that he has/had an office in Utah. Is he licensed there?

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    6. No neither Robert Graham or Linda Graham were licensed in Utah. https://services.utahbar.org/Member-Directory.

      The Martindale listing indicated that he had one Associate for his Utah operations. http://www.lawyers.com/salt-lake-city/utah/robert-c-graham-159186023-a/

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  3. I've been a Nevada lawyer 21 years and cannot recall a single client ripoff that was bigger than than this one.

    I suppose some of the construction defect nonsense that went on 10-20 years ago was, in the aggregate, a bigger client ripoff; but this is the biggest single ripoff by one attorney.

    I agree with the guy yesterday who said that the Bar should cancel the convention and give every dime it can to Graham's victims.

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  4. Why was Jason Cassady picked to handle these files?

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  5. Judge Silver was going to allow my attorney to rip me off to tune of about $85,000, and my attorney did no discovery. Vote no of the above, or run against her.

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    1. Little late since the election was last month.

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    2. Nah, never hurts to share info.

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  6. Rin tin tin, vote the board of governors the fuck out. Get rid of Hunterton. These people cannot even tie their shoes. We need to Lord of the Flies this shit.

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  7. We should put Baby Johnson large and in charge over at bar counsel.

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  8. Hey, you can still get a skeletal version of the LawyersWest website using the Wayback Machine. It's filled with quotes from associates and employees such as this gem: Working at Lawyers|West appealed to me because I was extremely impressed with Rob and Linda Graham. Their work is absolutely top quality and I am proud to be a part of their law firm. Not only are they sharp, but also have high integrity. The law firm is an example of the high standards they have in life, work and the profession.”

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    1. Over time, Graham and her husband wanted to start a family and ultimately go into business together. They saw the value of forming a boutique law firm and recognized that specializing in estate and business planning would allow them to give their clients complete and quality service in an honest and straightforward way. Graham said, “When someone chooses us, they’re getting the benefit of very experienced attorneys who have a very conservative approach to estate planning.” Such as stealing all of your money.

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    2. Let me guess, Graham and his lovely wife went to BYU?

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    3. They did go to BYU, surprise, surprise. Making Boyd 2011-2015 look good right about now.

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  9. This situation w Graham is pretty sad. I'm sure this has screwed some of his clients and I doubt they will ever be made whole. It doesn't do much to help the reputation of lawyers either. Graham seems like a real POS.

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  10. Here is the part I find AMAZING (ok sneaking away with 13MM is pretty unbelievable). NO ONE, I mean NO ONE, has come forward with any explanation, defense, deferral, support or effort to try to get in front of this and say "Look Rob is a good guy who had __________________" happen to him. The narrative is that this was a straight theft because there is no other narrative. We as a profession presume the worst and demonize quickly.

    And yet nobody (not even P.S. Kerr) has put forth any form of other narrative like "The truth will come out" or "the stories are overblown" or "While Rob is cooperating he is certain that the facts will show quite a different tale" or "Rob is a good lawyer who had bad things happen to him." NOBODY is stepping up to provide any defense or other narrative for Graham. You would think if you were his counsel or his compatriot or his friend that someone would step up (even anonymously on here) and say "Lets not be so quick to judge." But no one is coming to his defense. What a lonely sad place to be. I know, I know...He has (presumably) $13MM to keep him company. But still-- the fact that no one can offer anything in the way of some narrative.... Yikes.

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    1. I've had cases against Rob.

      Nice guy? Sure.

      Good advocate? Absolutely.

      But if he stole $13M why the fuck does any of that matter?

      That's why you've got crickets.

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    2. Rob Graham looked and dressed like a mortician. La Paloma is hiring.

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    3. This will turn out to be straight up fraud- robbing Peter to pay Paul for years until finally the payment of $1 million was ordered and the jig was up. My only thoughts of compassion for him are that if he has a family I hope he doesn't do anything to himself.

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    4. Yep...http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/embattled-las-vegas-attorney-cites-business-failings-police-fbi-investigate-missing-client

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    5. And he admits everything..... I presume at this point it is all about making sure that Linda does not follow him to prison.

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    6. Everybody loved Bernie Madoff, had nice things to say about him and thought he was a genius too, until, well, you know how that ended.

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  11. Anything more on the allegation yesterday of a Stop Work Order on Michael Harker's door? I checked with the Nevada Supreme Court and nothing was filed.

    In that same vein, I know that someone earlier today dredged up a post regarding Nelson Cohen's departure from Bremer Whyte. There is a State Bar Petition which has been confidentially filed with the Supreme Court regarding Nelson. 71846
    (Confidential) IN RE: DISCIPLINE OF NELSON COHEN - CONFIDENTIAL - 12/08/2016 Bar Matter Discipline Petition Petition Filed

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  12. WTF is going on with Harker? What is a stop work order? Nothing and nobody in this profession surprises me anymore.

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  13. Oh those "clueless" State Bar lawyers. Following the rules and filing stuff. Imagine that.

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  14. I thought the bar petition said Rob should have 13 million, but just had less (around 11 or 12), not that he took all 13 million. Stealing is stealing, but shouldn't the facts be correct.

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    1. No it said he should have $13M and says that he has "low six figures". That would be like $100k.

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  15. 8:12, nobody defends bar counsel except bar counsel. Take a look at the buffoons who are still practicing.

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  16. I do not practice Estate Planning, but am wondering under what circumstances an EP attorney would have possession of his/her clients' assets. I thought EP was just preparing wills and trusts and related paperwork for clients in organizing one's assets for estate and tax purposes? Whey would a client need to place assets in their attorney's "trust" account? Unless said EP attorney was acting as a financial planner and "investing" the client's assets? Is that what Graham did? Isn't that a conflict for an attorney to act as a financial planner?

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    1. Why, not "Whey". Sorry

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    2. Rob acted not only as attorney, but also fiduciary. He was trustee of many trusts on behalf of his clients, including special needs trusts. I suspect most of the money he stole was in his role as fiduciary, not merely attorney. Most probate lawyers won't act as a fiduciary, except to get around a residency requirement for a personal representative who lives out of state. Even then, it's a co situation and usually involves a modest amount of assets and time, most often without the attorney ever touching liquid funds.

      As to Rob, we'll know for sure as the details come out. I have been told that when he did plans, he would write himself in as a successor trustee/PR.

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    3. I've dealt with a few special needs trusts as a PI practitioner. Uniformly, they involve heartbreaking situations. If you are taking money from a special needs trust because your ego can't handle the need to scale down your practice and rent cheaper space, then there is a special kind of hell for you.

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    4. Rob did Estate planning and did not hold any assets of those clients. He did also act as a probate and trust administration attorney where in some of those cases he was a co-admin or co-trustee depending on the circumstances. He also handled guardianships and special needs trusts. Any and all client funds for all of these matters that were "liquidated" from estate assets were deposited into LawyersWest accounts. So, as a fiduciary and managing attorney partner, Rob had to access to every dime.

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    5. If that is the case, then I believe that law firms and attorneys who act as fiduciaries should be required to post substantial monetary bonds (or large legal malpractice insurances) that would cover any losses suffered by clients as a result of the actions like this scumbag committed.

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    6. You would think it would be required! Seems like common sense - but no - there is never a bond required, nor any increase in malpractice for holding millions and millions of client dollars. Instead - it's the "honor" system. And that system fails time and time again. Although I am sure there are above board attorneys in LV, as well as around the country, but this was the straw that broke it for me - never again will I put my livelihood, trust and reputation on the line again. It's not only my two little ones that won't have much under the tree this year, but all the other employees and of course clients who rely on monthly disbursements for their special needs trusts, guardianship allowances, etc. We will all suffer as a result of Graham's misdeeds. And the kicker is, when he is in minimum security prison, he will be clothed, fed, and kept relatively comfortable at who's expense? Us - taxpayers, former employees, former clients, peers, family and friends. What a crock of shit.

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    7. Bond requirement and an audit by a CPA every 24 mos, more or less. Otherwise you've got no business holding on to that kind of money on behalf of others; particularly children, elderly, and the disabled.

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  17. Reform is coming get ready you will all have to accountable for all dollars in trusts. It will cost more to do to your business for your clients but this will not happen again.

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