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Goldstein Schmitt & Associates Law Firm Breakup Turns Ugly
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Lauri Goldstein and Thomas Schmitt

Summary: The former partners of the law firm are taking jabs at each other over who had the rights to the client files.

The former partners from The Law Firm of Goldstein Schmitt & Associates are fighting one another over the firm’s breakup. There are accusations of mental instability and theft between Thomas Schmitt and Lauri Goldstein. They are bringing everyone into the fight, including spouses, staff, and other attorneys.

  
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Schmitt suddenly left the firm in March, taking over 100 clients with him as he opened a new office for Kogan DiSalvo & Schmitt. He also took attorney Anthony Bennett and paralegals Julianne Lerello and Nicole Cephas-Lopez with him. Goldstein claims that Schmitt and other staff stole anywhere from 140 to 170 client files, stating that she has video surveillance that shows Lorello leaving with the files.

Schmitt was involuntarily checked into a mental health treatment facility at the same time that he was accused of stealing from his new firm. Goldstein argued for an emergency motion for leave since Schmitt’s erratic behavior and recent dismissal from KDS left the missing files vulnerable. She fears that he will sell the files to the highest bidder.

When Bennett left the Goldstein firm with Schmitt and then recently left KDS, he started his own private practice called Jupiter. He may also have taken files and cases. He insists that he is no longer affiliated with Schmitt or KDS.

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Goldstein believes that “Schmitt methodically campaigned to convince by any means necessary the vast majority of the Goldstein firm’s personal injury clients to terminate the Goldstein firm and transfer their files to KDS”. KDS says that the files were taken ethically and that clients did not want to stay with Goldstein because of the way she ran the firm by coming “in at noon, have a two-hour lunch, shop online for a few hours and then leave”. Kogan claims that around two-thirds of the former Goldstein clients want to stay with Kogan DiSalvo.

Goldstein is up against Schmitt, his latest law firm, previous staff, and her history of suspension by the Florida Supreme Court in 2013 for 91 days. Her firm led a client to believe they won a settlement when the money was actually from the firm to cover up the fact that they missed the statute of limitations on the case.



Schmitt has suffered from bipolar disorder and two bankruptcies, one in 1996 and another in 2008 when he first joined the Goldstein firm.

Source: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202731398316/Law-Firms-Breakup-is-Getting-Nasty-With-Claims–of-Theft-and-Mental-Instability-Between-the-Partners

Schmitt Photo: hg.org

Goldstein Photo: femaleinjurylawyer.com



 

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