4

One Tough (And Bad) Lawyer

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You gotta give credit where it's due: Steven Bearman's got balls.

Lying, embezzling balls, sure, but balls nonetheless.

Bearman was investigated and got his law license suspended in 2007 for stealing more than $200,000. He then got a firm to hire him as a paralegal -- and he started stealing again.

On the plus side, some of what he stole as a paralegal went to repay victims of his first round of stealing. On the negative side, it's still stealing.

Bearman "would listen to his clients' desperate stories about financial hardship and would still steal from them to support his high lifestyle," prosecutor Lester Blizzard said in a punishment memorandum.

Blizzard's memo lists 46 victims who had combined losses of $1.6 million. It says Bearman would tell clients their personal-injury cases were still active, when actually he'd already settled them and taken the money.

A personal-injury lawyer without scruples? What is the world coming to?

The Bearman vs. Blizzard match comes to a head tomorrow, when the ex-attorney faces sentencing. He has pled guilty to misapplication of fiduciary duty involving over $200,000.

Blizzard is pouring it on, by the way. Bearman, he wrote the judge, "has taken advantage of this court by continuing criminal conduct while was on bond."

Bearman faces anywhere from probation to 99 years in prison. Hope he has a good lawyer.

-- Richard Connelly

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