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A previous affiliate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto was arrested late previous month in relationship with allegations that he was not accredited to practice law and experienced attempted to falsify qualifications.
Steven Younger Lee, 31, who experienced labored in the prestigious law firm’s securities litigation division because previous August, was fired previous month when the business discovered out that the Boston School law graduate experienced lied about getting accredited to practice law in California or wherever else.
Lee’s attorney, Lucy McAllister, did not return cellular phone calls, and when reached Monday, Lee himself said “I never want to comment.”
Just after his arrest April 29, Lee was charged with felony grand theft and the illegal practice of law. If convicted of equally charges, Lee faces up to 5 decades driving bars, in accordance to Santa Clara County Assistant District Lawyer Al Weger.
Even though at Wilson, Sonsini, Lee conducted interviews, took depositions, gave lawful information and created court docket appearance in L.A., San Francisco and San Mateo. The business has returned to shoppers a full of $219,865.95 that was billed for Lee’s do the job, and it introduced the issue to prosecutors’ attention, Weger said.
“The do the job he did seemed suitable,” said Wilson, Sonsini lawyer Timothy Scott, chair of the firm’s litigation division. “The other lawyers seemed to have appreciated him.”
According to a report by District Lawyer Investigator Gary Medlin, the allegations unfolded April 13 when partner Leo Cunningham overheard his secretary talking to a person from the Condition Bar, which grants men and women licenses to practice the job. The secretary, in accordance to the report, was executing a schedule verification to make certain Lee was in good standing with the bar. (To practice law in California, an person need to go a bar examination and an ethics evaluation.)
The bar, nevertheless, told the secretary that the range she furnished did not belong to Lee. Cunningham then confronted the affiliate, in accordance to the report, and Lee said that he need to have improperly published the range down. He said he would test his bar card and give the right range to Cunningham, the report said.
Lee later on furnished Cunningham with one more range, which state bar information showed was registered to a Steve Y.C. Lee who lived in Sacramento. Steven Y. Lee finally admitted he was not accredited in any state, the report said. He was straight away suspended, and on that day despatched a alter of deal with form to the California Condition bar, requesting a replicate bar card belonging to Steve Y.C. Lee, listing Wilson as his new employer. Less than a 7 days soon after he was fired, Lee submitted a resume to an government lawful look for business to find new do the job as a lawyer, the report said.
“This was an obvious endeavor on his portion to steal Steve Y.C. Lee’s bar range,” concluded the report. The Sacramento lawyer, in the meantime, said this 7 days that he is thinking of a negligence go well with versus Wilson, Sonsini. “At the bare minimum, Wilson was negligent,” said Steve Y.C. Lee. “All it usually takes is just one look for. … What business doesn’t do a history test?”
Scott defended the firm’s using the services of techniques, even as he stressed that these kinds of an incident would hardly ever transpire yet again.
“We test references, and we did so in this circumstance,” he said. The state bar’s Website web-site, which lists Steve Y.C. Lee’s bar range and that of other lawyers, is accessible to everyone.
Ironically, Steven Y. Lee experienced gotten above what to most aspiring lawyers are the toughest sections of the procedure — having via law faculty and passing a essential check. Prosecutors said he has passed the bar in at least two states, and in 1993, he graduated from Boston School Legislation University.
Soon afterward, although, Lee created what would demonstrate to be a horrible oversight. It wasn’t that he failed the Massachusetts examination (extra than 50 percent of check-takers do), but that he lied about the success to land a work with a business in that state, prosecutors said. When the business discovered out, it fired Lee.
In 1994, Lee moved to New York and took the bar examination for that state. He passed, but simply because of the incident in Massachusetts, he was rejected in a evaluation of moral carry out — a action pretty much perfunctory to lots of lawyers. Just after that, said prosecutors, he told the law business of Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky that he was certainly accredited — and labored there until his lie was found out 15 months later on, prosecutors said.
In 1997, Lee moved to do the job at Brian Cave LLP in Los Angeles. He lasted there considerably less than two months when the business discovered out he did not have a license to practice in California, prosecutors said. Previous February, Lee passed the California bar examination. But, said the report, “He hardly ever adopted via with the treatments required to come to be accredited.”