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Legal Ethics

Lateral Associate Working at Clausen Miller Wasn’t a Licensed Attorney, Law Firm Concludes

Posted Jul 11, 2011 6:40 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A lateral associate at Clausen Miller who reportedly worked at two law firms for nearly a decade apparently may never have been licensed to practice.

In fact, it's not even clear that Mark Pastuszak graduated from law school, the Daily Business Review reported.

Pastuszak worked as an insurance coverage associate in the New York office of the Chicago-based Clausen Miller. However, the firm notified court authorities in Mercer County, N.J., by letter late last month that it couldn't confirm he was licensed to practice in either state. The firm's director, Edward Kay, said Clausen Miller called licensing authorities “who have confirmed to us that no one named ‘Mark Pastuszak’ has ever been admitted to practice in either New York or New Jersey,” the legal publication reports.

Pastuszak previously worked at Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer in New York, the legal publication reports. It appears that he is now also a former associate of Clausen Miller, which no longer includes his bio on its website.

Kay wouldn't say what alerted Clausen Miller to the licensing issue. However, the article says the firm, had been seeking to have reinstated a Pastuszak case dismissed due to discovery deficiencies. It contended he misrepresented the status of the case to both Clausen Miller and the client, saying as recently as May that there had been merely a "technical" dismissal.

At least as of April 2009, in a cached version of his Clausen Miller biography, Pastuszak also claimed in to have clerked for "mulltiple" state superior court judges in New Jersey. At last report, judicial officials there were scrambling to try to determine whether he had, in fact, done so.

The Daily Business Review says it tried without success to reach Pastuszak for comment.

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