Last month, the Oregon State Bar charged a Portland, Oregon attorney with misconduct arising from settlement dollars that belonged to her clients. Really bad conduct, including settling a personal injury case for $100,000 but not telling the client. Instead, the attorney told her client she settled for $40,000. Under that scenario, the client would receive roughly $26,000 instead of $67,000 of the actual settlement of $100,000.
Then, I wonder if the attorney earned full value for the case. Did she need to settle fast for money SHE needed and fail work the case hard enough? Should the case have settled for $200,000 instead of $100,000? Could the client have received 2/3 rds of a $200,000 settlement, instead?
The Portland attorney was Lori Deveny, who gave up her law license instead of fighting the charges. I know her. I’d seen her at professional meetings. I’d sent her Christmas cards in the 2000s. I was surprised.
Today, a New York attorney was arrested for stealing from his clients. His past included being the President of the Brooklyn Bar Association.
So, as a client, who do you trust?