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Convictions of Lawyers Increase in One State

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The Wall Street Journal Law Blog reports that convictions of private lawyers for federal offenses have increased sharply over the last few years, at least in one jurisdiction.

As the article puts it:

According to the U.S. Attorney's office there, the number of Nevada attorneys convicted of serious federal crimes is on the rise.

"There's been a significant uptick," David Clark, chief counsel for the State Bar of Nevada, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "It's a combination of economic realities and the increased vigilance on the part of federal prosecutors to go after lawyers.

Mind you, the overall total is not huge. Between 2008 and 2014, 23 lawyers--" mostly from Las Vegas"--were convicted, most for financial crimes such as tax evasion and bank or mortgage fraud, the Review-Journal reported.

I have more than a few doubts about DOJ's priorities, but if the Department is paying more attention to the private bar, congratulations to Eric Holder.  I've often wondered about the client-uber-alles "ethics" of the private bar, but, for however that may be, there is absolutely no excuse for looking the other way at outright criminality.

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Sort of related to this.... Almost all of us, civil guys in bankruptcy and tax have a story (or more) that usually goes something like this -

Matt - Well client, you have received your discharge (or plan confirmed), here is what it means blah blah blah....

Client - Thanks Matt. Now that my case is over, can I put that $50,000 in cash I took out of the bank back in my account? And yes, I'll get to you invoice sometime before 2020.

What are we to do? Ethically and professionally it is suicide for obvious reason - but it doesn't make me feel good about it for obvious reasons either.

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