Monday, April 22, 2013

What's the strangest thing you've ever been offered as a fee?

Paula McMahon has this very entertaining article in the Sun-Sentinel about fees paid to criminal defense lawyers:

Furs, guns, jewelry, a whole lot of boats and fancy cars, a hotel, an army tank, a ranch in Wyoming, a herd of cattle in Venezuela, a tray of lasagna, two Yorkie dogs and a lifetime supply of live bait.
All offered as payment to South Florida lawyers by clients who ran out of cash.
No property to give? Not to worry — there's always the bartering of personal services. Like the accused fraudster who offered to serve as a nanny for her attorney's kids. Or the guy accused of posing as a lawyer who offered to work as a paralegal. And yes, everyone has heard tell of some other lawyer being offered sexual favors or drugs to cover the legal tab.

Fred Haddad has some good stories:

Veteran criminal defense lawyer Fred Haddad said he grew up the son of an old-fashioned doctor who often bartered his services and taught his son to do the same — at least, on occasion.
"I've taken lasagna and meals from clients who run restaurants," Haddad said. "It's hilarious valuing some of this stuff for the tax man."
He said he accepted, and later sold, a ranch in Wyoming about 25 years ago, and he still regrets that he turned down a house on the Hillsboro mile because he didn't want to pay the taxes.
Back in the day, he and his former law partner accepted some airplanes, but Haddad now confesses to having a weakness for boats and nice cars. "I've taken everything from Ferraris on down."
But Haddad said there can be a downside: "A lot of the stuff I've taken wound up costing me. I took a '67 Camaro and I'm into it for $14,000 already, rebuilding the engine."

I wish Paula would have interviewed my dad, Stuart Markus. He has some great bartering stories from over the years including a barely sea-worthy sail boat that he and I tested out before accepting (I was in high-school at the time).  After we had to call Sea-Tow to pick up us, we decided not to keep it....


Anonymous said...

My client's mom is brasilian and well....

Anonymous said...

I tried a case against Marcia Giordano (then a PD) when I was an ASA - It was the defendant's 9th DUI.

Marcia had tried the case one time before I came on to a hung jury, we tried it to a hung jury and then a mistrial after jury selection.

On the 4th trial, Marcia got her client acquitted - had she lost, her client surely would have received 5 years.

Judge Crespo (RIP - he was such a fair judge and a pleasure to be in front of) got the verdict, adjudicated the guy not guilty, and proceeded to yell at the defendant for half an hour about how lucky he was and what a great lawyer he had.

The judge told him that he should do something to thank his lawyer.

He offered to give Marcia a hotdog from his hotdog cart.


Anonymous said...

Dore...PR 101...only post about cases you win (and when you do, lie to make it an even greater win)!

George Frobisher said...

no greater trial lawyer and barter-for-services lawyer than Percy Foreman