Query of firearm coaching may absolve actor of negligence, says trial legal professional

Litigation attorney Jeff Harris said that an issue of negligence on the “Rust” film set after the Fatal shooting of cameraman Halyna Hutchins could come down to the level of gun training that actor Alec Baldwin received.

“It may ultimately boil down to whether or not the actor was adequately trained in the use of firearms and that would fall on the production company and absolve Baldwin of negligence,” said Harris, who does not represent any party involved in the incident.

Baldwin’s production company El Dorado Pictures produced the upcoming film. Neither Baldwin nor El Dorado Pictures responded immediately to CNBC’s request for comment.

The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin a loaded gun on the set admitted to investigators that he didn’t check the revolver carefully enough, according to a search warrant released on Wednesday. So did the Santa Fe County Sheriff confirmed on Wednesday that there was a real bullet in Baldwin’s revolver and that investigators found even more alleged live rounds on the set.

Harris was the lead trial attorney on the Lan Jones v CSX case and obtained a $ 11.2 million judgment on behalf of the family of camerawoman Sarah Jones, who was killed while working on the film “Midnight Rider”.

He told CNBCs “The News with Shepard Smith” that on the set of “Rust” there was likely gross negligence.

“I honestly think that if you have a movie set where you have live ammunition mixed up with dummy ammunition and spaces, that type of activity turns into gross negligence, and I believe someone who will ultimately get into this case at least charged with criminal negligence, “said Harris.

Disbarred former LeClairRyan lawyer Bruce Matson shells out extra money to LandAmerica chapter property

Bruce Matson paid $ 577,000 to LandAmerica’s bankruptcy estate in March. (BizSense file)

Six months after Bruce Matson lost his statutory license to improperly insert seven-digit funds from LandAmerica’s long-dormant bankruptcy estate, he wrote another sizeable check regarding the case.

The veteran Richmond attorney and longtime general counsel of the now bankrupt LeClairRyan law firm paid an additional $ 577,000 to the LandAmerica property in March, according to federal court figures.

This is on top of the $ 2.8 million he returned to a successor trustee last year after it was revealed that the funds had been withdrawn from LandAmerica’s settlement account and deposited into personal accounts of Matson and an associate.

Matson, who had spent much of his 40-year career as a bankruptcy administrator, oversaw the complex LandAmerica case from the collapse of the Henrico-based title insurance giant in 2008 to its seemingly successful conclusion in 2015.

However, in August 2019, the bankruptcy court was made aware of LandAmerica’s $ 2.8 million resolution fund had been emptied. These funds should only be disbursed after the completion phase in 2021.

Matson eventually admitted the funds were transferred to his and an employee’s accounts before being returned. Matson was then removed from LandAmerica as trustee and then despite his objections was excluded from the Virginia State Bar in November for his money handling.

Matson admitted to the VSB that the allegations were true and that he was unable to successfully defend the claims. He eventually agreed to revoke his license to practice in Virginia.

Seasoned Richmond attorney Benjamin Ackerly, who retired from Hunton Andrews Kurth, has been appointed to replace Matson as trustee in the LandAmerica case. Ackerly’s camp continues to investigate the Matson affair.

A lawyer representing Ackerly had no comment on the recent $ 577,000 payment.

Matson made no comment.

LeClairRyan’s office is padlocked in this file photo. (BizSense file)

Matson has also gotten rid of some of the tentacles of LeClairRyan’s ongoing bankruptcy over the past few weeks.

A brief court record on the case earlier this month shows that Matson has reached an undisclosed sum with LCR trustee Lynn Tavenner. The agreement was reached after a two-day mediation session from March 26th to 27th.

Matson was represented in the mediation by McGuireWood’s attorney Dion Hayes.

Tavenner has negotiated with dozens of former LCR lawyers in an attempt to reclaim the funds they received from the company that led to their bankruptcy.

You have each received letters of formal notice from the trustee to start discussions and possible mediation. As is common with such bankruptcies, if a solution cannot be reached through mediation, the trustee can file a formal lawsuit against the respective attorney.

The LCR estate continues its too Legal dispute with legal services giant UnitedLexwho formed a controversial joint venture with the law firm that led to its liquidation.

Tavenner filed $ 128 million in damages last year claiming UnitedLex kept the law firm alive longer than it should have in order to “wrongly and unjustifiably be millions of millions to the detriment of LeClairRyan’s creditors.” To draw dollars from the estate “.

UnitedLex fired back on the case, arguing that the majority of the case should be dismissed or at least referred to another court where it could have the opportunity to discuss its case in front of a jury.

The case continues before the federal bankruptcy court.

Choose: Ogden legal professional violated ethics guidelines by withholding, spending shopper’s cash | Courts

OGDEN – A judge found Monday that an Ogden attorney violated the rules of professional ethics by pocketing and pretending to be a client’s dispute settlement and lying about it after he was caught.

At the end of a two-and-a-half-day trial in the Second District Court, Judge Noel Hyde ruled that Richard H. Reeve had been guilty of dishonesty, failed to seize three clients’ funds, and wrongly granted a paralegal curtailment of a settlement.

Hyde also objected to statements made by Reeve during the trial, saying there was “no evidence” to support some of Reeve’s allegations, “even under oath on his testimony during that trial.”

The judge said Reeve “stopped short of deliberate perjury, but there were certainly shades and artful answers to questions.”

Hyde hosted a status conference on February 25 that gave Reeve and Barbara Townsend, an attorney for the Office of Professional Conduct at the Utah State Bar, time to prepare for the trial.

Possible penalties range from a warning to a ban.

The OPC filed the case in 2017, accusing Reeve of processing a $ 380,000 severance payment awarded to Jean Tonioli in a 2015 death against a drug company. The Roy wife’s husband, Bob, died in New York City when the couple returned from a Baltic vacation in 2011.

The previous Monday, Townsend interviewed Reeve about two withdrawals he made in August and September 2015 from the personal credit union account where he had deposited Tonioli’s stake of approximately $ 254,000 in February.

Reeve testified that he withdrew $ 22,110 on Aug. 1 to pay a car dealer for a vehicle and on Sept. 9, he withdrew $ 16,000 to pay a woman who later became a wife.

Townsend said those withdrawals came “after he testified there was trouble” when he was able to pay Tonioli because by then much of her money had been spent.

Last week, Reeve blamed his ex-wife for at least two large withdrawals earlier this year that he said still had access to the account during the divorce.

In her concluding argument, Townsend said, even if his ex-wife spent part of Tonioli’s money, “He’s the attorney in charge of the settlement money. It doesn’t matter what (the first wife) did.”

“Over the course of seven months, he spent not only $ 99,000 on what was his (part of the settlement) but also $ 167,000 of Tonioli’s money,” Townsend said.

Last week Townsend detailed other expenses, such as trips to Las Vegas, San Antonio and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and purchases from wedding chapels and rings.

Reeve, who represented himself in the ethics process, admitted in his final argument that he had endangered his integrity, put his legal partners in a difficult position and violated Tonioli’s trust.

“I deeply regret the behavior I demonstrated,” he said, adding that he “tried to take immediate steps to correct the problems.”

Townsend argued that the evidence is overwhelming that Reeve is violating the rule of ethics that prevents a lawyer from engaging in “dishonesty, fraud, deception or misconduct”.

According to testimony, Reeve ordered his trainee attorney to have the billing check forwarded to him, not the usual procedure on the law firm’s escrow account.

That was in February 2015. The paralegal eventually went to executives at a law firm in Ogden, where she and Reeve were working on his failure to pay Tonioli and his client’s stone wall when she asked for the money.

Reeve was confronted with this in September 2015, saying the money was in an escrow account and Tonioli knew about it. After the company investigated, Reeve changed its story, saying the settlement was still pending in federal court, which was also wrong.

The company fired Reeve on September 16, and he met with Tonioli and her son the next day to pay for the money they had come.

But as evidence, the OPC produced a document Reeve had prepared for that meeting, which Townsend said covered up the truth about what had happened to the money.

“He made up this document to show for the Toniolis’ that it was all in there all along,” said Townsend. “Don’t be fooled by what Mr. Reeve said.”

Hyde ruled that several of the arguments Reeve made in his defense were “not credible”, including his description of that September 17 document.

The document, a screenshot of what was presented as a credit union banking record, “is in and of itself a misrepresentation and Mr. Reeve knew it at the time he was preparing it,” said Hyde.

Hyde said he found it “very worrying” that Reeve would “go to considerable effort in attempting to create the appearance of a justification for this document” by this process.

Last week Reeve testified that he had sold part of his stake in a limited liability company to his brother so that he could raise enough money to pay Tonioli what she owed.

But Hyde said Reeves’ details on these moves “weighs on credibility” because there is no record of such a transaction and no evidence of the source of the $ 167,000 Reeve deposited to offset what he spent.

The judge found that Reeve had broken rules not to trust the custody of client funds in the Tonioli matter and two other cases where Reeve had directed the trainee attorney to send settlements to him.

Hyde also confirmed allegations that Reeve violated restrictions on attorney independence by seeing the trainee attorney received approximately $ 3,000 from his share of court profits.

Arkansas legal professional normal sued, allegedly misused taxpayer cash

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – One lawsuit alleges that Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge misused her office to promote her political endeavors and illegally use tax dollars.

The lawsuit filed Friday in the Pulaski County Circuit Court in Little Rock alleged Rutledge exceeded her authority by filing failed lawsuits reversing the results of the Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin presidential elections, as well as promoting media outlets about the services your office speaks, supports.

“Rutledge … served as the Arkansas state attorney general in highly partisan political activity to promote her political standing and promote her own political ambitions at the expense of Arkansas taxpayers,” the lawsuit said.

Rutledge denies the allegations and calls them politically motivated, said spokeswoman Stephanie Sharp.

“The attorney general has the discretion to act on behalf of the people of Arkansas. This is a frivolous lawsuit and we will ask that it be dismissed, ”Sharp told the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

The lawsuit seeks to prohibit Rutledge from transgressing her authority and repaying approximately $ 1.7 million for media advertising.

Rutledge, a Republican who was first elected in 2014 and reelected in 2018, has announced plans to run for governor in 2022.

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