Thursday, April 21, 2016

Convicted Attorney Featured as Speaker on What He Did Wrong

Steven Lippman
Disbarred attorney Steven Lippman, a former law partner of convicted Ponzi mastermind Scott Rothstein, wants to help make sure other lawyers don't fall into the same trap he did.

Lippman, who received a two-year prison term for helping Rothstein break federal election laws and commit bank frand, plans to teach a continuing legal education course May 26 in Fort Lauderdale called "Rothstein: Lessons Learned Working Inside Florida's Most Notorious Law Firm."

The CLE is sponsored by the Legal Learning Series, a company that offers CLEs and legal events in South Florida. Director Robert Friedman said he has applied for Florida Bar accreditation but has not yet received it. Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker said the bar has not received the application.

There does not appear to be a prohibition against disbarred attorneys or convicted felons from teaching CLEs based on the bar's published CLE regulations.

In an interview with the Daily Business Review, Lippman said he is hoping to do a public service by sharing his story with other attorneys.

"Certainly I'd like to put this behind me," he said. "In my life, I'm putting it behind me and moving on. I just feel that telling my tale to prevent it from happening to someone else was what I was supposed to do."

The former Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler partner was released from prison to a halfway house in May 2014 and is running a consulting and mediation firm. He's not sure if he will reapply for his Florida Bar license when he is eligible against after five years.

At first, he was taken aback when Lippman approached him about the CLE, Friedman said.

"I wasn't sure why he was approaching us," he said. "I didn't know why he wanted to be part of the Rothstein story anymore. I would think he might want to get away from all that. I mean, we all need to make a living. But he can do other things. He can sell cars. Maybe he wants to face his demons."

But Friedman said he saw the value in Lippman sharing his experience as a cautionary tale.

"We all take for granted where we work and who we work with, and we get excited by flashy people and big firms," he said.

Since announcing the CLE about two weeks ago, Friedman said the response has been good with about 30 tickets sold at $69 each.

But not everyone has been supportive, he said.

"We're getting a polarizing response," Friedman said. "Some people are angry to hear that a former Rothstein partner will be teaching an ethics seminar. In fact, I told him I don't want to just hear he was naive. I want him to talk about the red flags he missed."  (Continue Reading)

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Convicted Attorney Featured as Speaker on What He Did Wrong

1 comment:

Zach said...

The Rothstein case continues to effect people. He really deserved a life sentence for what he did.