Boy it’s a crazy day out there for South Florida lawyers, huh?
First there’s this blockbuster story from the always intrepid Julie Kay taking a look at the John Leighton-Ira Leesfield breakup.
Among the more interesting allegations is that Ira installed spy software, bought lots of fancy things, and used his shop to bankroll Hillary’s Florida campaign — in other words, a day in the life at my firm.
Apparently, however, this was somehow problematic for Leigton:
The relationship nosedived when Leesfield failed to turn over the firm’s financial records shortly after Leighton became a name partner, the suit said. Leighton grew concerned about the firm’s expenses, overhead and compensation. At the same time, Leesfield would continually lecture Leighton about curbing his expenses.
“In 2007 and 2008, Leesfield spent several months away from the law firm and the active practice of law pursuing personal interests including serving as the finance chairman for Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign,” the complaint states. “Much of the time that Leesfield actually spent in the office was used to solicit contributions for Hillary Clinton, and Leesfield as it turns out was using the law firm’s resources including staff, offices, postage, office supplies and other items to fund Leesfield’s personal political interests for Hillary Clinton causes.”
Leesfield “became confrontational, dictatorial and verbally abusive” when Leighton asked about firm finances, the complaint said.
Hall does not deny Leesfield spent a lot of time working for Clinton.
“He has a lot of causes he believes in, and he has earned the right to work on them,” Hall said.
Leighton suspected the firm was paying for Leesfield’s personal expenses including “vacation homes, parties, meals, entertainment, travel for himself and his family, clothing, luxury items and social, political and personal activities that were completely unrelated to the law firm’s business,” the complaint said.
Leighton also accuses Leesfield of putting his daughter on the firm’s payroll when she worked only sporadically and renting office space he and his wife personally owned at rates above fair market value.
Hall said Leesfield’s daughter, who does public relations for the firm, is actually underpaid for the work she does and Leighton, not Leesfield, is the big spender. “He had to have a $110,000 car,” Leesfield said.
Leesfield installed computer surveillance and keystroke logging technology to spy on his employees, the complaint said. By last December, Leesfield determined Leighton had obtained access to the firm’s records and confronted him.
“You work for me,” he yelled, according to the complaint. “This is my firm!”
Again, I pretty much yell something along those lines at somebody every single day.In fact, in honor of Ira I just screamed those exact words at the lady who brought me a cafecito a few moments ago (of course she snickered and muttered something about my mother playing bingo or pingo or she’s a penguin? — I didn’t really pay attention.)
You can read Leighton’s complaint here.
Then we have Hank Adorno’s response to a motion to strike his affirmative defenses in the bar proceedings, where he says Judge Peter Lopez must have known it was an individual settlement because otherwise we all would have had to have a fairness hearing. Even though it was for $7 million bucks!
(Nice negotiating, btw, Joe Arriola.)
I also enjoyed the part (page 9) where Hank explains that the only reason his firm did not pursue substitute class reps to carry on the class case after the individual settlement was because his partner Mitchell Bloomberg was undergoing aggressive treatment for lung cancer.
Also Sandy Bohrer has vouched for the individual settlement and Hank passed a polygraph test!
You can read the response here.
Sheesh — and Friday’s not even over yet, peoples.