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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tens Years To Discipline Top Lawyer For Overbilling (MORE, CLICK HERE)

A Decade After Overbilling, Former BigLaw Partner Receives 30-Day Suspension
New York Lawyer - December 28, 2007 - By Brendan Smith - Legal Times

In a case that has taken a decade to resolve, attorney Michael Romansky received a 30-day suspension last week from the D.C. Court of Appeals relating to overbilling issues while he was a partner and leader of the health care practice at McDermott Will & Emery in the 1990s. He has since left the firm.

In 1994, Romansky overbilled two clients by disguising new premiums as additional hours on the clients' bills, the Dec. 20 decision stated. The court found that there was confusion at the time about McDermott's new billing policy, but the court took a harder line on actions Romansky took to deceive both a client and McDermott after the firm launched an internal investigation into his actions. Romansky dictated a letter to a client's secretary, which was purportedly from the client, and told the secretary to backdate the letter and fax it to him so he could submit it to McDermott as evidence that the client believed his billing practices were justified, a D.C. Bar Counsel investigation found.

Romansky, who doesn't currently list any firm affiliation with the D.C. Bar, didn't respond to requests for comment. His attorney, Earl Silbert of DLA Piper, declined to comment. A McDermott spokeswoman also didn't respond to questions about whether Romansky resigned or was fired from the firm.

Although the court previously remanded the case for additional factual findings by the Board on Professional Responsibility, it ultimately agreed with the board's recommended 30-day suspension. However, Judge Noël Anketell Kramer wrote that she favored a 60-day suspension because a 30-day suspension was "unduly modest."

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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