Unprofessionals in Law

November 1, 2013

It’s back, and it’s as unbelievable as ever

Photo: Shutterstock












Art for art’s sake

Back at the end of July, a Kentucky gallery noticed that two statues (valued at $25,000 apiece) had gone missing.

A few weeks later, a visitor to lawyer John Scott Benton’s apartment was admiring his art collection, but became suspicious when Benton described how he had acquired the art from a gallery at night. The visitor tipped off the police, who knocked on Benton’s door. Rather than talking to the nice police officers, Benton tried to climb out of a second floor window. As you do.

It’s not the first time Benton’s been in trouble. In 2011 he was hauled up for allegedly trying to run his girlfriend over, then pointing a gun at her when he failed to hit her and then knocking her unconscious when the whole car and gun pointing business didn’t scare her quite enough. Oh, and making “terroristic” phone threats to a teen.

In the past, the lawyer has missed at least one probation date because he was, by his own admission, smoking marijuana.

Lawyer gotta be choking

High profile US lawyer Dominic Barbara has been arrested in the US for allegedly attempting to choke a woman.

Barbara’s former clients include the infamous Joey Buttafuoco. In case you’ve forgotten, Buttafuoco hit the headlines back in 1992 when his 16 year old girlfriend shot his wife in the face.

These days, Barbara’s more famous in his own right. He’s previously been accused of shoplifting, stalking, harassing his ex-wife, extortion and reportedly threatening a client with mafia-style retribution.

Lawyer liar

Getting ahead in the world can be tough. But the best rise to the top, right? Not always. Dennis (also known as Tom) O’Riordan, a top City lawyer, has, according to newspaper reports, turned out to be a top liar.

Among O’Riordan’s fake claims were a first class Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and Bachelor of Civil Law plus a Doctorate of Philosophy, all from Balliol College, Oxford. He also claimed to be an Eldon Scholar and have a Masters from Harvard University’s Faculty of Law, plus membership of the Irish and New York Bars and to be a visiting lecturer at Oxford University.

Despite making up his past, O’Riordan had a successful legal career working at a number of banks, firms and chambers. In fact, he even became a partner at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft and Paul Hastings, O’Riordan’s most recent post, from which he has resigned. His lies apparently came to light when he applied for another job and someone at his would-be employer researched the details of his CV.

Fire crews are still said to be battling to put O’Riordan’s pants (which are clearly on fire) out.  KW 

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