Recently Jules wrote this article regarding the exodus of lawyers from Becker & Poliakoff because
the firm is trying to distance itself from its brand as a condo law firm and dabble in litigation and other stuff it's never handled, and is "holding back" 20% of lawyers' salaries to make ends meet Gary Rosen, Becker's new managing partner, is moving the firm forward into the "modern era" with revolutionary ideas like billing and origination requirements.
Becker & Poliakoff is accused of helping a Boca Raton multimillionaire hide $400 million in assets in a Caribbean offshore account while he is under investigation by state attorneys general.
("Offshore accounts for wealth preservation?" Sounds like something that will result in DOM or Rumpole being retained.)Attorneys for Sarah Pursglove, the estranged wife of Robert Oesterlund, want a data preservation order against the Fort Lauderdale law firm and are seeking the turnover of a hard drive as well. Her attorneys allege the hard drive contains evidence of a fraudulent scheme by Oesterlund, his lawyers at Becker & Poliakoff and accountants to illegally transfer his assets to the Caribbean island of Nevis. Becker & Poliakoff special counsel Richard Cahan, who is named in the motion as Oesterlund's attorney, declined comment, citing pending litigation. The firm website said his specialty is "asset and wealth preservation planning, utilization of various offshore and domestic planning vehicles for business and wealth preservation planning purposes."
OMG! On Christmas Eve! That's SO on fleek!Things got messy when Oesterlund asked his wife for a divorce on Christmas Eve 2012 after 16 years of marriage.
Now, now: it's a divorce. With some serious cheese at stake.
At one time, the couple owned about 40 Internet companies as well as a $23 million penthouse at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, a $30 million yacht, a Cessna jet, a $5.7 million Boca Raton mansion and a $10 million house in the Bahamas.So of course the pleadings will read like tabloid fodder with all sorts of he said/she said allegations where no neutral third party can shed light, right?
In a separate interpleader action filed by Wells Fargo in Palm Beach Circuit Court, the bank seized $6 million in 17 accounts and accused Oesterlund of fraudulently removing Pursglove as a signatory for various companies.
Pursglove's lawyers want to gain control of the hard drive in particular, which "likely contains evidence of the firm's role in Oesterlund's fraud."
Lawyers who aren't really litigators often reflexively resist producing stuff and instead think it's best to fight! Just give over the hard drive and debunk the false allegations.
The hard drive was originally held by Squire Patton Boggs, Oesterlund's previous law firm, which filed a motion to withdraw from the case in July. It was then transferred to Becker & Poliakoff, "and it is unknown what Becker & Poliakoff has done with it since," the motion said.
Mr. Rosen, Becker's new managing partner, is not taking this lying down and instead is out in front, leading the charge to re-brand Becker as a litigation powerhouse!
"It is apparent that the plaintiff and counsel involved in this matter are attempting to gain a litigation advantage by injecting outrageous and unfounded allegations into what would otherwise be a routine discovery dispute," Rosen said in a statement.
I'm not so sure about the "unfounded" and "routine" parts, Gar.
As to "attempting to gain a litigation advantage," we hereby welcome Becker to the realities of the wonderful world of litigation. Ya'll might want to re-think that wole "dabbling" thing.