Risk Update

Risk… You Can’t Make This Stuff Up…. Just… Out of Title Ideas For These Updates…

Firm Accused of Advising One Client to Hide Cameras in Another Client’s Closet” —

  • “Did a name partner at an AmLaw 200 firm advise one client—who is serving as the trustee of his late brother’s estate—to hide recording devices in a master bedroom closet of another client—the late brother’s widow? And did the cameras capture her undressing? Or prove she was trying to steal from the estate?”
  • “Right after Joe’s death but before Elizabeth returned from Bermuda, Aaron in court papers said he learned that ‘Elizabeth’s friends were entering [Joe and Elizabeth’s] house for hours at a time and had removed art from the walls.'”
  • “Aaron also said he knew that his brother kept large amounts of cash in the house, and that there was a wall safe in his brother’s master bedroom closet. (Elizabeth has her own separate closet.) ‘On advice of counsel, the trustee had motion-activated cameras installed inside Joe’s closet to ensure the preservation of the trust’s valuables contained therein,’ wrote Aaron’s current lawyers Howard Weitzman of Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert and Jeryll Cohen of Freeman, Freeman & Smiley.”
  • “Elizabeth in her complaint says the lawyer was Jeffer Mangels name partner Burton Mitchell, and that in conversations with her probate counsel, Mitchell ‘acknowledged telling Aaron he could install these recording devices in Elizabeth’s home.'”
  • “A Jeffer Mangels spokeswoman said, ‘The attorney-client privilege prevents the firm from disclosing what, if anything, was discussed with the client Aaron Kaplan.'”
  • “‘It is despicable—and unlawful—for an attorney or a law firm to advise anyone to invade another individual’s legally protected privacy and to break various California penal laws and civil laws in doing so. It’s even worse when the victim is a client, as Elizabeth was a client of Mitchell and [Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell],’ Cohen wrote.”
  • “When asked whether representing both Aaron and Elizabeth presented a conflict, a Jeffer Mangels spokeswoman responded, ‘There were signed explicit conflict waiver letters signed 10 years ago when Elizabeth was a client and the attempt to pretend that she did not sign one is as meritless as the rest of her claims.'”

We covered disqualification news tied to the Pierce Brainbridge saga a few months ago. More news on the latest developments relating to that firms advancing journey here: “Accusation of Fraud on the Court Against Attorney David Hecht of Hecht Partners and ex-Pierce Bainbridge Partner“.