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Legal Ethics

Feds and State Investigate N.Y. Lawyer Who ‘Worked’ 1,286 Days in a Year

Posted Feb 21, 2008 5:17 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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It hasn't been a good week for Lawrence Reich.

A Newsday article yesterday features a photograph of FBI and Internal Revenue Service agents wheeling a cart of document boxes containing business records for the New York lawyer, apparently en route to a federal grand jury investigation.

Meanwhile, another Newsday article published a day earlier reports that the state attorney general has begun a parallel investigation into Reich's alleged simultaneous full-time employment by five different Long Island school districts. As part of the investigation, records from Ingerman Smith, a law firm at which Reich formerly was a partner, have been subpoenaed.

The newspaper says that Reich, now 67, was listed as a full-time employee for the five school districts—as both school officials and his law firm reportedly knew—even though he was actually in private practice as a partner at Ingerman Smith. The districts allegedly paid some $2.5 million in legal fees for his services as part-time legal counsel, but simultaneously listed him as a full-time employee so that he could receive health benefits and a pension.

Reich has said that he did nothing wrong, according to a Newsday article last week. "I followed essentially a practice that was very common among my colleagues in the industry," he said, noting that "I don't file these papers" submitted by the school districts on his behalf. "I don't have the faintest idea what they're filing for me."

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "New Issues for Lawyer Who ‘Worked’ 1,286 Days in One Year"

ABAJournal.com: "Lawyer Who ‘Worked’ 1,286 Days in a Year: ‘Common Practice’"

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