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Top Greenberg Traurig Lawyer Apologizes to Fed’l Judge, Calls Doc Errors in $67M Case Unintentional

Posted May 30, 2012 12:22 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A top partner of Greenberg Traurig has apologized to a federal judge concerning his law firm's handling of the discovery in a civil case brought by investors in a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by the then-leader of another well-known Florida law firm, Scott Rothstein.

But although "very saddened" by the situation, Cesar Alvarez, who serves as executive director of Greenberg Traurig, told U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke that his law firm and its attorneys had not intentionally done anything wrong, the Miami Herald reports.

Cooke, who concluded a two-day contempt hearing Friday, has not yet ruled on whether to hold Greenberg Traurig in contempt for discovery violations. The firm self-reported its lapses to the court, resulting in the hearing.

Rothstein, who is currently serving a hefty prison term for swindling a number of individuals while operating his now-defunct former law firm, Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler, used Toronto-Dominion Bank when the 70-attorney law firm was still in business. The bank was sued by some of his investors, the Coquina Group, which claimed the bank did not exercise appropriate oversight when it should have spotted problems with Rothstein's finances. The bank was represented at trial by Greenberg Traurig.

Although the Coquina Group won a $67 million judgment against the bank early this year for aiding and abetting Rothstein's fraud, it is asking Cooke to sanction both the bank and Greenberg Traurig for admitted discovery errors by striking every pleading and objection the law firm made during trial. That sanction would, if imposed, have the effect of precluding an appeal of the $67 million judgment, the newspaper article explains.

TD Bank fired Greenberg Traurig in April and is now represented by McGuireWoods.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Bank Blames Greenberg Traurig in High-Profile Contempt Case, Says Firm Had Access to All Documents"

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