Firm Must Pay Fees to Ex-Associate Suspended for Theft

, The Legal Intelligencer


Bochetto & Lentz is still responsible for paying a $124,000 arbitration award to an ex-associate who has since been suspended from the bar for stealing money from the firm, the state Superior Court has ruled, rejecting the argument that public policy would preclude paying money to a lawyer who engaged in such conduct.

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    Many years ago I interviewed at this firm for an associate position, and Mr. Bochetto asked me if I was married. I tried to conceal a burst of laughter as his younger partner Lentz squirmed uneasily, and replied "some courts have said that‘s not a proper question for an employment interview." Bochetto said "well, we work pretty hard and I wondered if there‘s anything [like a family?] that would get in the way." I knew at that point that my interest in the practice was over, and said that there was nothing to prevent me from working as required. This was at a time when it was well established that such questions were absolutely forbidden, but Bochetto must not have read his advance sheets.

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