Consequences for Attorneys, Others in High-Stakes Cases


High-stakes criminal and civil litigation can sometimes have major consequences not only for the defendant, but also for others involved such as defense counsel.

On March 23, 2011, Joseph Nacchio – the former Qwest CEO now serving a 70-month prison sentence for insider trading – filed suit against the lawyers who represented him in criminal and civil SEC proceedings, alleging overbilling and professional negligence. Nacchio was convicted of insider trading in 2007 based on the assertion that he sold stock in the company without disclosing material information.

In the complaint, filed in New Jersey Superior Court, Nacchio alleges that his attorneys billed him for more than $25 million, a sum that included costs for attorney underwear, staff breakfasts, and hotel room movies during the six-week criminal trial in Denver. Nacchio alleges that the billing was excessive. His lead attorney was former federal judge Herbert Stern of Stern & Kilcullen LLC in Roseland, New Jersey.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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