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Don't Take the Money and Run
By Ronald J. Friedman
Be Careful When a Client Pays in Cash
I am an assistant U.S. attorney in Seattle, Wash. During the past 12
months, I have participated in the investigation and prosecution of four
attorneys for felony offenses which they committed in their
professional practices. Each of these attorneys has either been
disbarred or is in the process of disbarment proceedings. As a result of
their conduct and prosecution, their law practices have been ruined. I
write out of a concern for what has happened to them, a concern for our
common endeavor to practice law, and a concern for the public perception
of lawyers. Also, I write in the hopes that by reading this article,
attorneys may avoid such misconduct in the future.
Let me make a few observations at the outset. First, I subscribe to the
view that my job and the work that I do in furtherance of the criminal
justice system are no more important than your own, whether your
practice is criminal defense or on the civil side. W
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