Happy Monday, folks!
I don't know about you, but I woke up full of piss 'n vinegar today.
Maybe it was the drive in to downtown this morning.
Here's what I brought with me in my luxury hermetically-sealed personal transport vehicle:
1. Large cup of freshly-brewed Sumatran coffee;
2. Various briefs and drafts I worked on over the weekend;
3. Today's NYT (and parts of Sunday), as well as the WSJ;
4. Laptop, smartphone, and my e-book reader.
I also had the ac and Led Zep's Coda on at full-blast.
I'm not proud of this, but yes -- I multitasked.
The big news this morning is Bob Norman's blockbuster reporting regarding RRA:
The Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm has hired prominent lawyer and former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey to represent it in what he called "very very difficult circumstances" caused by an imploding investment venture by the firm's president, Scott Rothstein, who is believed to be in Morocco.
"The allegations [against Rothstein] do not involve the firm's law practice, they involve an investment business that Scott Rothstein created," said Coffey, who contacted the Pulp this evening. "There are a number of allegations being made and I'm trying to assess the firm's position and what steps it may need to take."
When asked if the firm's lawyers feel victimized by Rothstein, Coffey answered simply, "Yes." It's a near certainty that victims of Rothstein's investment scheme will sue the law firm and possibly even individual lawyers -- whether on solid ground or not -- in an attempt to get their money back.
Coffey said the law firm will be open for business Monday, but said it's too early to tell if the firm will survive. Other sources say that the firm is filing for bankruptcy Monday.
Not to be outdone, I covered high-flyer Scott's public embrace of expensive suits and his deep personal interest in the message communicated by associate facial hair here.
So Bob, that makes us even?
Jay Weaver writes of the complaint filed today by Coffey and an email by Chief Judge Tobin:
The complaint states, ``It is with surprise and sorrow that the attorneys of Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, P.A., have learned that Scott W. Rothstein, the managing partner and CEO of the firm, has, according to assertions of certain investors, allegedly orchestrated a substantial misappropriation of funds from investor trust accounts that made use of the law firm's name.''
The case will be heard at 4 p.m. before Judge Jeffrey Streitfeld.
Rothstein's partner, Stuart Rosenfeldt, is seeking immediate judicial action to facilitate the investigation of investor funds.
The firm was founded by Rosenfeldt and Rothstein in 2002 and currently employs more than 70 lawyers.
The complaint also states that a review of the firm's records undertaken this past weekend showed various funds that were controlled by Rothstein could not be accounted for. ``Some investors allege that defendant Rothstein may have been fabricating nonexistent structured legal settlements for sale to investors,'' the claim states.
Rothstein's actions were done without any knowledge of any other attorneys at the firm. ``And, in fact, Rothstein actively endeavored to hide the existence of the scheme,'' the claim says. Rosenfeldt and other lawyers only learned about the allegations several days ago, they said.
Broward Chief Judge Vic Tobin sent an email at 6:45 a.m. to judges about the Rothstein case.
`'I learned of some very distressing news yesterday....,'' Tobin wrote. ``Whoever draws the case try to set the motion today because of the amount of clients and money involved. Also if you have a case with te firm please be patient. I don;t know if they lawyers will come or not and if they do come there is no money at this point to go forward with the case or pay firm employees.''
Tobin also write that there may be ``multiple filing of receivership motions'' and that creditors may also file a motion.
News crews were outside the law firm's Las Olas Boulevard office in Fort Lauderdale Monday. They were not allowed access to the firm's office. No one was answering the phone at the firm.
Gotta love South Florida.