Friday, November 6, 2009

The Fallout From Scott Rothstein. Does Anyone Like Him?

Over the past few days as the Scott Rothstein meteor hit the earth in South Florida and continued to smolder, the conversation between any and all lawyers in any and all venues; elevators, courthouses, cocktail parties, has been about little else.

Last night a lawyer asked "is this the biggest legal scandal to hit South Florida?

I said yes.

We had a big scandal in the 80's of judges taking bribes, and we've had our share of lawyers disbarred and sent to prison for various crimes.

But this is different.

This was a lawyer that caught the attention of every other lawyer in South Florida. His round the clock commercials with the biggest sports stars, his many cars, watches, six-figure political contributions, threats to news reporters to back off, his entire existence was highlighted in the media for all to see, and wonder.

But this is about the fallout, and here's my thoughts:

[1] By next summer Scott Rothstein will be sentenced to a lengthy federal prison sentence.

He will agree to be charged without an indictment and plea guilty. Few of the "friends" he made with his money will speak on his behalf. The news will be who is "not" there at sentencing.

[2] Does anyone like Scott?

I haven't heard or read a single thing in his favor from a personal friend or professional colleague. NOthing. Usually in these circumstances someone comes forward and says "wow, that's too bad, he was a really nice guy."

We as lawyers should think about this. While being a "nice guy" isn't important to many lawyers, it's interesting to watch Rothstein's collapse and that no one has come to his defense as a person. You want that?

[3] All lawyers from the firm will be tainted in some fashion.

This notion that many of the lawyers are going to "stick together" and form another firm is silly. After the ValueJet crash the only reason that airline survived is because it changed its name to Air Tran. Did you know that? Exactly.

The firm of Rosenfelt, Adler is not a good idea.

The associates; what will they put on their resume? That they worked for Rothstein? Will other firms want that on the precious bios the firm posts of individual lawyers on the web?

If I was a lawyer at Rothstein's firm, I'd run, fast, and open my own shop. Maybe with a lawyer or two from the firm. Maybe.

[4] All lawyers from the firm that ever want to be appointed or elected, won't.

Rothstein was so tied in with Florida's political establishment that no one will want the fallout from appointing a lawyer from the firm. Anyone who runs, for anything, will have commercials run against them about the fact they worked for Rothstein.

This collapse, of this lawyer, will resonate for a long time. Not to even mention the dozens of lawsuits that will dog Rothstein and the firm and their lawyers for years.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit



Anonymous said...

Fuuny how this guy's C&F was cleared by FBBE without any questions, and there are people who had a few hick-ups in thier past and don't get licensed. Is FBBE's Background Check really that thorough???

South Florida Lawyers said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Some people are still not getting it. There are still some people out there trying to profit from this mess.

A headhunter who made over $800,000 by bringing in lawyers to Rothstein's firm is now claiming he can place these lawyers somewhere else.

This firm was his ONLY client. He has not placed lawyers anywhere else. He was Rothsetin's boy for three years

And now he thinks he can make more money by recycling these crappy lawyers to another firm.

This guy is better off selling software to pawn shops.

I have one message for those lawyers and this guy: If you worked at RRA nobody is going to say NOW HIRING YOU.

You will not make your Marko.
Go out on your own and forget this headhunter jerk. He knew Rothstein was bad news all along yet he took the money and placed you there.