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‘In The Years I Have Known Him, He Has Always Been An Arrogant Lawyer’: Is This The Worst Reference Letter Ever?

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On Friday, a struck-off lawyer who used to work for the US law firm of convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein was sentenced to three years in prison.

During sentencing, Steve Lippman asked for support letters from friends and colleagues.

This is what one of Lippman’s lawyer pals, Harris Solomon, wrote:

LETTER TO JUDGE JAMES COHN FROM HARRIS SOLOMON RE: SENTENCING OF STEVEN LIPPMAN

Dear Judge Cohn:

Mr. Lippman wrote to me and asked that I send a letter to you saying positive things that I know about him. I do not know of anything positive to say to this court about Mr. Lippman. In the years I have known him, he has always been an arrogant lawyer. I had a matter with him which has gone on for about five years up to the moment of his disbarment and during that time, he never once expressed any misgivings about his criminal conduct or acknowledged his wrong doing in any way. While I have never before been motivated to write a letter suggesting that a defendant does not deserve any leniency from any court, Mr. Lippman’s total disregard for his legal obligations and misuse of his license to practice, along with the damage his former firm has caused the justice system has motivated me to do so in this instance.

As an example of Mr. Lippman looking out only for Mr. Lippman, he asked his secretary at RRA to help him gather his files to make the transition to from RRA to a new firm. She worked for approximately two weeks to assist him. At the end of the fourteen days of work, he said he could only afford to pay her five hundred dollars. He knew she had not received her last pay check from his law firm and then he violated the wage and hours laws by not even paying her minimum wage when she helped him transition.

Lastly, based on the facts admitted by Mr. Lippman in his plea, he was aware of facts involving illegal acts by Mr. Rothstein long before the collapse of the ponzi scheme. Had he acted on that information instead of participating in several separate crimes with Mr. Rothstein, the whole scheme would have collapsed much sooner than it did.

Very truly yours,

Harris K. Solomon