Small law

9/11 Law Partner Owes $415,000
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Summary: A New York law firm partner is accused of taking close to half a million dollars from the firm, in addition to office property.

According to the New York Post, a law firm partner at Napoli Bern, Paul Napoli, must reimburse the firm for $415,000 that was taken from company funds. The attorney must also return office items that he took in violation of a court order.

  
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Michael Farren has been disbarred in relation to charges of attempted murder.

Napoli has been fighting in Manhattan Supreme Court with his law partner, Marc Bern, over accusations of illicit office affairs and misappropriated funds. After Bern noted that there were irregularities in the firm’s finances, Napoli accused Bern of hiring prostitutes and having a liaison with a staff member at an office Christmas party, the Global Legal Post reported. Now, Napoli has five days to prove that another $100,000 he spent was for good cause, or else he may be jailed for criminal contempt.

Read about the alleged affair here.

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Judge Eileen Bransten said, “I am ordering that every last piece of furniture, every last pencil, pen, rubber stamp, computer, telephone, chair, curtains…everything must be returned to the Fifth Avenue office that was taken out.”

The firm is accused of keeping tens of thousands of dollars from 9/11 victims it once represented. The firm is now overseen by Ira Warshawsky, a receiver who claims that Napoli violated the receivership order by spending over $500,000 in company funds without seeking his permission. Warshawsky adds that Napoli also traveled on the company jet for “personal non-business reasons at a cost to Napoli Bern in the amount of $25,682.58.”



Bern

Bern

An Illinois attorney faces child porn allegations.

According to a separate article by the New York Post, the firm is accused of over-billing by an incredible $36 million for its representation of sick and dying Ground Zero workers.

The judge prohibited Napoli from soliciting any of the firm’s clients for the firms of his wife Marie and his father. She also ordered a preliminary injunction to avoid any further similar behavior until the case is resolved.

Do you think Napoli will show he spent the additional $100,000 for valid reasons?

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Judge Bransten will issue a ruling on July 20 as to whether Napoli should be held in contempt. She said, “I’m hoping that, pending next time we meet, that the parties begin…negotiations to resolve this [contempt] matter. This is and remains a disaster.”

She also warned, “Until I see everyone again, I truly expect first-class behavior.”

Clifford Robert, Bern’s attorney, said he was “grateful” for the ruling. He explained, “The extraordinary relief granted in today’s proceeding are a major victory for Marc Bern in his efforts to make sure that the firm’s clients are effectively represented. Her order demanding the return of the firm’s property and assets is vital to the pursuit of justice in behalf of these injured people.”

Luke Nikas, Napoli’s lawyer, said, “Today’s rulings will prolong an unnecessary battle that does no one any good, least of all the firm’s clients. The important result is that the receiver has been told to exercise the duties he was given eight months ago, and we sincerely hope he does.”

Source: NY Post

Photo credit: lawyers.law.cornell.edu, napolibern.com (Napoli, Bern)



 

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