Thursday, July 1, 2010

Negligencia Legal

The Nevada Supreme Court has issued an order temporarily suspending the license of Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney Jorge Sanchez, who abruptly shut down his office leaving approximately 400 cases unresolved. Here's a little background from his website:
Jorge L. Sanchez

· Practice Areas: Bankruptcy, Foreclosure Defense, Creditor Harassment

· Law School: Michigan State University – Cum Laude

· College: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

· Member: Nevada and Minnesota, United States District Court for the District of Nevada, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Clark County Bar Association, Latino Bar Association, National Association of Consumer Advocates

· Languages: Fluent Spanish
Cum Laude at Michigan State and a member of two bars? Very impressive, Mr. Sanchez, we're sure you'll make a fine attorney. Oh, wait. From the RJ:
The petition said Sanchez has filed 669 cases in Bankruptcy Court since August 2008 and is still listed as the counsel of record in at least 400 of them.

Sanchez acknowledged in the petition that he received a retainer of $1,500 to $2,500 for each of his cases but no longer has any of that money to refund to his clients.
Let's see: 669 * ($1,500 + $2,500)/2 = $1,338,000. Oh, we're sorry, Jorge. That fails the WWL bright-line rule for permanent disbarment. Thanks for playing, please leave your law license at the door. In your next life, be sure to steal less than your total law school tuition.

The Supremes also seem to have come up with a too-little, too-late solution for Jorge's clients:
The Supreme Court ordered that a trust account be set up to hold any future funds from Sanchez's clients and that he not be given access to that money.
Future funds from clients? Oh, they must mean from all those new clients he'll be taking on during his suspension. Got it.

(LVRJ; Thanks, Tipsters!)

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Based on the follow-up article this morning, it sounds like a case of someone getting in way over his head as opposed to out- and-out criminality, but intolerable either way. Someone who is a couple of years out of school like that has no more business operating a solo practice than a person who just received an MD degree would have setting up shop as a surgeon without doing a residency and a fellowship first.

Anonymous said...

Nothing worse than the premature solo practioner. They think they know everything and their opponents have to pay for their real life education. It is small consolation that their opponents almost always prevail.

Anonymous said...

In Canada, attorneys are required to complete a one year apprenticeship program.

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the idea of having two years of law school, and then the third year is like a residency in your area of practice.

Anonymous said...

In Canada do they teach you to just insert commas wherever you feel like it?

Anonymous said...

In Canada, insurance malpractices YOU!

Anonymous said...

9:11, I think you are wrong. I was a "couple of years out of law school" and managed to keep my trust account balanced.

Lesson number 1 from law school: client trust money is not your money.

Repeat: Lesson number 1 from law school: client trust money is not your money.

That's why it's called a TRUST account.

Are we now going to see some sort of impairment defense?

Anonymous said...

8:45 see the article, it's not trust account funds at issue.

Anonymous said...

12:10 PM - Fuck Canada. No one cares. Take back the Baldwins.

Anonymous said...

Wait wait wait. Alan Thicke is Canadian, but the Baldwins?!?

Anonymous said...

I know Jorge personally and these comments are way off base. He spent two years in the Public Defenders' office trying criminal cases and was not "in over his head."

He's a smart and capable guy who led with his heart -- as one of the only Spanish-speaking attorneys in Nevada, and as I recall the only BK atty, he felt a huge responsibility to the community where he grew up. He just couldn't say no to desperate people losing their houses, and got way too busy for his practice to handle.

Part of the blame here rests with the Nevada Bar for creating huge hurdles to practice law in the jurisdiction. Las Vegas is the most under-lawyered major cities in the US and when the economy crashes, there's a lot of people who need help. Guys like Jorge have to shoulder the burden alone, and it burns them out.

Check your facts before you call someone a thief.

Anonymous said...

9:30 - Seriously? Really?

Anonymous said...

9:30, Sorry but I have to call "bullshit" on that one. Let me get this straight... The so-called "huge hurdles" imposed by our "cruel" state bar are what caused this guy to squander hundreds of thousands of his client's dollars? Gimme a break. I'm the first to Bar-bash when it is warranted, but theft is theft.

Anonymous said...

Bravo 9:30 AM. (though, not to detract from the wisdom of your comments, the average PD is a degenerate on the verge of a mental breakdown, ironically.)

Anonymous said...

I frankly think that the apologists for crap like the stuff that Winkler and Sanchez (allegedly)pulled, somehow legitimize their actions by making them appear to be the victims.

"We're the victims, your honor, not the people we stole from..."

What a bunch of garbage. You do the crime, you do the time (or lose your license). Period.

Anonymous said...

If he gets his license suspended, I know one thing he can do - start charging other bankruptcy attorneys to revamp their marketing. I'd hire the guy to work for me just to bring in that number of clients per month.

Anonymous said...

Can we get a clarification on the petition? If the reason Jorge is being suspended is because he took a retainer, didn't do work, and doesn't have the money to return (whether because he spent it, unscrupulous employees spent it, whatever), that's one thing. If the reason why he's being suspended is because he just abandoned 400 active clients, that another. But the RJ article says that the Star Bar is looking into misappropriated client funds.

Oh, and 9:30: If Jorge's law practice was too busy to give competent representation to each and every client that he took on, he should absolutely be disciplined, whether or not any money is missing. Speaking Spanish doesn't give you a pass on your ethical obligations.

Anonymous said...

Err, That should be "State Bar." "Star Bar" sounds like a rockin' place to spend loads of client dough, though.

Anonymous said...

Greed!You should know when you have too many clients.

It is really bad when you look to Joe Scalia to clean up your mess

Anonymous said...

El PELON ! ! ! ! !

Anonymous said...

It seems this young lawyer got in way over his head. It does not appear he purposefully wronged his clients. Really unfortunate situation.

Anonymous said...

His website just went down yesterday. Not sure if it is intentional or he just didn't pay his Google Apps bill.

Robin said...

You have a never-ending supply of stories to post about the legal system in Nevada. You may find the posts at www.howtosueyourlawyer.com - a blog with its roots in the Las Vegas legal community.

Anonymous said...

I also knew Jorge personally (worked with him), and he was a mess. Douche with a capital BAG. Best of luck to him getting his life sorted out, but these actions don't surprise me.

Anonymous said...

I also knew Jorge personally and yes he worked with the PD office but only to get some practice dealing with the other side. A search on PACER will show he also ran up a cr*pload of debt before filing bankruptcy himself.

This man has lost his pants in more ways than one and I'm not surprised to see that he's graduated to ripping people off. Shame on you Jorge...

Anonymous said...

I worked with Jorge at the PD's office and found him to be one of the most caring and compansaionate PDs around. So, it appears he exercised his legal right to file bk? Big deal. I know Jorge and can tell you Jorge would never have done any of this intentionally. Besides, who would go to school for 7 years only to be suspended 3 years into their careers.

jack said...

Based on the follow-up article this morning, it sounds like a case of someone getting in way over his head as opposed to out- and-out criminality
attorneys in las vegas

jack said...

ttorney Lawyer Directory - Online Legal Resources, attorney Directory, Law News, Articles, discussion forum, reviews and more.
las vegas injury lawyers

Phil Burgham said...

Your view is definitely something Id like to see more of. Thanks for this blog. Its fantastic and so is what you've got to say.

vacuum industrial