Trials & Litigation
Federal jury awards $50.9M to crime writer Patricia Cornwell
By Martha Neil
Feb 19, 2013, 10:35 pm CST
In a plot twist worthy of one of her Kay Scarpetta crime novels, best-selling author Patricia Cornwell was awarded $50.9 million Tuesday by a federal jury in Boston.
She had sought tens of millions, contending that her former financial manager, Anchin, Block & Anchin, and its former principal, Evan H. Snapper, handled some $89 million of her money negligently, failed to account for expenses and personally benefited over the past four years, according to the Boston Globe.
The jury began its deliberations Thursday, and foreman John Martus said it had reached a fair decision concerning Anchin’s responsibility to Cornwell.
Snapper told the Globe that he is very disappointed as he left the courthouse. And, in a statement provided to the ABA Journal, the firm’s managing partner, Frank A. Schettino, said Anchin, Block & Anchin is disappointed by the verdict and exploring its legal options.
“For more than 90 years, the professionals at Anchin have built a reputation for honesty and integrity. The firm will endure despite today’s outcome,” Schettino writes. “We are eager to return to our business and continue providing the highest level of professional services our loyal clients have come to expect.”
The firm, which was paid $40,000 per month to oversee Cornwell’s finances, blamed the author’s own extravagance, including her use private planes, the Los Angeles Times’ Jacket Copy blog.
The New York Daily News also has a story about the claims made in the case.
ABAJournal.com: “Real-life details of crime fiction writer’s high finances revealed at trial”