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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

1st Department Continues Dirty Job of Correcting Corruption of Last 10 Years

NY Lawyer Loses License for 30 Months Over "Exorbitant" Fees, Ethical Breaches
The New York Law Journal By Daniel Wise - February , 2008

A Manhattan divorce lawyer who took nearly $41,000 in fees from an escrow fund that had been designated for other purposes must be suspended for 2 1/2 years, the Appellate Division, First Department, ruled last week.

The panel also found that the lawyer, Leah Larsen, 68, violated ethical rules by demanding an "exorbitant" fee not backed by time records and by pressuring her client to withdraw a complaint about the fee he had made to the Dutchess County judge handling the divorce.

One judge on the panel, Justice James M. McGuire (See Profile), would have disbarred Ms. Larsen. But the majority, consisting of Justices Richard T. Andrias (See Profile), David B. Saxe (See Profile), Eugene Nardelli (See Profile) and John W. Sweeny Jr. (See Profile), found the suspension severe enough in view of Ms. Larsen's previously unblemished 28-year career.

According to the opinion in Matter of Larsen, M-5004, Ms. Larsen had told her client, Conrad Tebbetts, that he could pay her with $40,750 from the proceeds of the sale of the divorcing couple's home.

Justice James V. Brands had ordered the money be paid into Mr. Tebbetts' 401(k). Mr. Tebbetts suggested Ms. Larsen take only about $30,000 for the fee. Ms. Larsen then sent her client a one-page bill for $168,400, claiming 852 hours of work at $200 an hour without detailing her work, the decision reported.

When Mr. Tebbetts wrote to Justice Brands to complain about the bill, Ms. Larsen threatened to collect the entire $138,000 balance due at an arbitration unless he withdrew his letter to the judge.


Anonymous said...

this SOB extortionist should be hung...his license to steal should be taken away forever - period!

Anonymous said...

his face should be on the wanted posters in the Post Offfice so everyone should know who he is.

Anonymous said...

This is in response to the above, Atty victim..His face should be on the WANTED POSTER in the Post Office..try like it should be on the MOST WANTED POSTER AT THE FBI, next to ALLEN ISAAC'S PICTURE.

Anonymous said...

The first department has been a shit hole for the last 10 years. (thanks to georgey porgey) IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER !

Anonymous said...

this lier for hire should be publicly turned into a enuch

Anonymous said...

Larsen is typical of what I experienced with the matrimonial bar. Fortunately by brother is an attorney (not matrimonial), and he tried to keep everyone honest. Yet, he couldn't believe what went on! I filed several complaints in the First Dept. and got bobkes! In my opinion, if the First Dept. really cleaned up, over half of the so-called attorneys would be out of the business and the general public would be better off. This blog is a good thing and I'm telling my friends about it. These characters are parasitically predators.

Anonymous said...

the low life LARSEN is a typical divorce lawyer skel living from other folk's misery.

Anonymous said...

the PJ of the 1st isn't trying too hard to go after people because if he did the queue would be quite lengthy

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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
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