Saturday, December 13, 2008

Screwing Everybody

It's impressive in a weird way.
In recent days, Dreier L.L.P., the Park Avenue law firm that Mr. Dreier founded, has been plunged into chaos. At least $35 million in escrow money that was to have been held by the firm also seems to be missing, the authorities say, and nearly all of its 250 lawyers are now looking for work.


As the Dreier firm’s lawyers rummage through the law firm’s books, which had been until recently Mr. Dreier’s exclusive preserve, the lawyers are finding that bills have not been paid in months. Their health insurance is in default and the firm will not be able to make its $2.6 million payroll on Monday, lawyers there say.


There would be no executive committee. No partners meetings. Mr. Dreier would handle all administrative chores.

For lawyers there now, the delegation of responsibility means that they are just now figuring out that Mr. Dreier had let their malpractice insurance lapse, exposing them to enormous risk if they are sued by Mr. Dreier’s growing list of potential victims, lawyers said.