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Legal Ethics

Lawyer Censured for Overstating Law Firm Diversity in Bid for DuPont Work

Posted Mar 30, 2010 7:03 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A politically connected Denver lawyer has been censured for inflating the number of women and minorities who held equity stakes in his law firm in an effort to win legal work from DuPont.

Willie Shepherd, who had founded Kamlet, Shepherd & Reichert in 2000, did not contest the censure, the Denver Business Journal and the Denver Post report. According to the stipulation agreement (PDF posted by the Denver Business Journal), Shepherd told DuPont that women and minorities held a 48.5 percent equity interest in his law firm, when the number was really 30.1 percent.

Shepherd also inflated his background in a biography sent to President Obama’s transition team, the stipulation says. Shepherd said he had co-chaired gubernatorial and mayoral transition teams. These teams were made up of several committees, and in reality, Shepherd was merely a member of or involved in the committees.

Shepherd announced last year that he was leaving his law firm for a partnership at Perkins Coie. Just two days later, Perkins Coie issued a press release saying Shepherd wouldn’t be joining the firm after all.

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