Legal Ethics

Suit claims lawyer's disclosure led to murder of his client


A lawsuit filed this week in Baltimore alleges that a Maryland lawyer’s disclosure led to the death of a client accused in a mail theft and bank fraud case.

The $40 million suit claims lawyer Larry Feldman of Pikesville disclosed to a co-defendant that federal authorities wanted to talk to the client, Isiah Callaway, report the Baltimore Sun, ABC2News.com and WBALTV.com. Among the causes of action are legal malpractice and wrongful death.

The co-defendant, Tavon Davis, was a client of Feldman’s in unrelated matters, according to the suit. Davis pleaded guilty last fall to federal murder conspiracy charges in Callaway’s April 2011 shooting death. Feldman has not been charged with any crime.

Callaway had been accused in a multistate mail theft and bank fraud scheme in which checks and money orders were stolen from drop boxes in apartment complexes and deposited in fraudulent bank accounts opened by homeless people, drug dealers and others recruits, according to the complaint. Callaway was asked to open accounts and recruit others to do so, the suit says. Davis was accused of running the scheme.

The suit, filed by Callaway’s family, claims Feldman never told Callaway that authorities wanted to speak to him, and instead tipped off Davis.

Feldman and his lawyer did not comment when contacted by the media outlets. In a 2011 interview with the Baltimore Sun, he said he did inform Callaway about the government wanting to speak to him and the alleged co-conspirators were likely aware of the fact. “I cannot imagine that [Callaway] would not have spoken to Davis about that,” Feldman said.

The suit alleges legal malpractice, wrongful death, negligence based on breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud by concealment and nondisclosure, negligent misrepresentation, constructive fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and civil conspiracy.

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