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05/11/06

KPMG's mess


KPMG, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services, and its partners have been accused of committing tax fraud by inking illicit deals and misleading the IRS about transactions between 1996 and 2003. The network allegedly developed tax shelters designed to create fake losses that investors could use to reduce their taxes.

Sources say that the deal under consideration calls for KPMG to pay around $500 million in penalties. KPMG avoided indictment last year and instead reached a $456 million deferred-prosecution agreement over the shelters. In the process, it admitted to criminal wrongdoing and agreed to cooperate with the investigation of its former employees.

In a move to show cooperation with the investigation, KPMG has severed legal fees for employees caught up in the investigation of the tax shelters. The decision to cut legal fees for 16 former KPMG employees, including vice chairman Jeffrey Stein, has raised questions from criminal defense attorneys and judges. Mr. Stein and the other defendants are accused of defrauding the government. Their trial is scheduled to begin in September.

The investigation has caused several major accounting firms to sharply curtail their marketing of tax shelters, at least for now.

South Carolina law firm taking on Bausch & Lomb
Charleston-based law firm Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman LLC (RPWB) has taken the initiative to file a case against Bausch & Lomb, Inc. The contact lens solution manufactured at the company's South Carolina plant is thought to have caused an outbreak of eye fungus known as Fusarium Keratitis, which can lead to corneal ulcers, infections and ultimately blindness.

Bausch & Lomb pulled ReNu with MoistureLoc from suppliers' shelves in the U.S. six months after it was aware of the contamination. The company has yet to explain why it delayed pulling the product in the U.S., which is linked to more than 136 cases of a rare fungal eye infection.

Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook & Brickman LLC is one of the leading complex litigation firms in the country with extensive expertise in tobacco, asbestos, securities fraud, pharmaceutical and other complex mass torts. The firm has locations in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Chicago and Barnwell, SC.

COOL THREAD OF THE DAY
Our loyal Judgedies seem resolute in their assertion that law firms that advertise on television are somehow cheesey. With very few exceptions, the gang on our Judged message board vehemently advised a newcomer to stay away from firms that run commercials on TV.

Firms that advertise

lauraska: I responded to an anonymous job ad and have gotten a call for an interview, but it has now been revealed to me that the firm that his seeking the interview is one that advertises on television and on the subway. My first instinct is to laugh at them and walk away...is my instinct right?

aligheri: Yes it is ... and I suggest you run away. Just for fun though, what areas of law do they practice? If it's personal injury, bankruptcy or family law, then I suggest you run away screaming. Some firms are just such an embarrassment to our profession. I hope you have better luck in your job search.

Lothario: Yes, unwind yourself from that situation as soon as you fucking can. I interviewed with a firm that advertised nationally on TV and ended up taking a job there. I had never even heard of the place before, but it ended up being a really bad scene.

Firms that advertise = generally a bad thing. Maybe you could pimp instead.

BullRunner: There is absolutely no question you should cut and run. Why do you think they placed a blind ad to begin with? No one would want to work for these sleaze buckets you see on TV chasing down people who are injured. Take it from someone who does 100% PI.

Keep some respect for yourself so when people ask if you're one of those lawyers that advertises on TV you can really and truthfully say no. If you work at this firm you're talking about, you would be a sleazy lawyer that advertises on TV, think about it.


Richardson Patrick Westbrook & Brickman LLC

    


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