Sept. 3 discussion explains 'How an Attorney Can Lose Everything'
"How an Attorney Can Lose Everything by 'Borrowing' Client Funds" is the topic of a free program from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3, in the Schulze Grand Atrium of the University of St. Thomas School of Law at 11 th Street and Harmon Place in downtown Minneapolis.
The event features a discussion by Tom White, a well-known former Twin Cities attorney who was prosecuted in 2004 for misappropriating some $100,000 in client funds, and Mike Colich, who served as White's defense counsel. The discussion will be moderated by Hank Shea, a fellow of the university's Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions. An interesting dynamic to the presentation: Shea, a former assistant U.S. attorney, prosecuted White.
Unlike most attorney embezzlers prosecuted by Shea, White repaid the "borrowed" client funds in their entirety once they were detected missing since he had only used them to pay his legal staff and other business expenses during times of "cash flow difficulties." However, under a U.S Attorney "zero tolerance" policy, White was indicted by a federal grand jury for the unauthorized misuse of client trust funds. He acknowledged his fraudulent conduct, pled guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Since his guilty plea, White has joined Shea for numerous appearances at law schools and other educational forums both to describe his misconduct and to convey its severe consequences, including disbarment, disenfranchisement and disgrace.
The event is jointly sponsored by the Center for Ethical Business Cultures and St. Thomas' Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, Criminal Law Association, and Business and Corporate Law Society.
There is no registration fee, but reservations are requested via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . CLE credits have been applied for. For additional information, call the Holloran Center, (651) 962-4920.