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A previous associate at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto was arrested late previous month in connection with allegations that he was not accredited to apply legislation and experienced tried to falsify credentials.
Steven Younger Lee, 31, who experienced labored in the prestigious legislation firm’s securities litigation division given that previous August, was fired previous month when the firm observed out that the Boston University legislation graduate experienced lied about remaining accredited to apply legislation in California or everywhere else.
Lee’s attorney, Lucy McAllister, did not return cellular phone calls, and when reached Monday, Lee himself stated “I do not want to comment.”
Just after his arrest April 29, Lee was billed with felony grand theft and the illegal apply of legislation. If convicted of both equally rates, Lee faces up to 5 decades guiding bars, according to Santa Clara County Assistant District Legal professional Al Weger.
While at Wilson, Sonsini, Lee conducted interviews, took depositions, gave legal advice and produced courtroom overall look in L.A., San Francisco and San Mateo. The firm has returned to clients a complete of $219,865.95 that was billed for Lee’s do the job, and it introduced the make a difference to prosecutors’ focus, Weger stated.
“The do the job he did seemed adequate,” stated Wilson, Sonsini lawyer Timothy Scott, chair of the firm’s litigation section. “The other attorneys seemed to have preferred him.”
According to a report by District Legal professional Investigator Gary Medlin, the allegations unfolded April 13 when associate Leo Cunningham overheard his secretary talking to somebody from the State Bar, which grants individuals licenses to apply the profession. The secretary, according to the report, was carrying out a routine verification to make positive Lee was in great standing with the bar. (To apply legislation in California, an unique have to go a bar exam and an ethics review.)
The bar, however, told the secretary that the range she presented did not belong to Lee. Cunningham then confronted the associate, according to the report, and Lee stated that he have to have incorrectly created the range down. He stated he would check out his bar card and give the proper range to Cunningham, the report stated.
Lee afterwards presented Cunningham with another range, which state bar records confirmed was registered to a Steve Y.C. Lee who lived in Sacramento. Steven Y. Lee at last admitted he was not accredited in any state, the report stated. He was promptly suspended, and on that working day sent a alter of handle sort to the California State bar, requesting a copy bar card belonging to Steve Y.C. Lee, listing Wilson as his new employer. A lot less than a week following he was fired, Lee submitted a resume to an government legal research firm to discover new do the job as a lawyer, the report stated.
“This was an clear attempt on his part to steal Steve Y.C. Lee’s bar range,” concluded the report. The Sacramento lawyer, in the meantime, stated this week that he is thinking about a carelessness suit in opposition to Wilson, Sonsini. “At the bare minimum, Wilson was negligent,” stated Steve Y.C. Lee. “All it normally takes is 1 research. … What firm does not do a history check out?”
Scott defended the firm’s using the services of practices, even as he stressed that such an incident would never take place again.
“We check out references, and we did so in this circumstance,” he stated. The state bar’s Web web page, which lists Steve Y.C. Lee’s bar range and that of other attorneys, is available to anybody.
Ironically, Steven Y. Lee experienced gotten in excess of what to most aspiring attorneys are the toughest sections of the course of action — getting by way of legislation faculty and passing a essential test. Prosecutors stated he has passed the bar in at least two states, and in 1993, he graduated from Boston University Regulation School.
Shortly afterward, nevertheless, Lee produced what would prove to be a terrible miscalculation. It was not that he unsuccessful the Massachusetts exam (additional than 50 percent of test-takers do), but that he lied about the success to land a job with a firm in that state, prosecutors stated. When the firm observed out, it fired Lee.
In 1994, Lee moved to New York and took the bar exam for that state. He passed, but due to the fact of the incident in Massachusetts, he was rejected in a review of ethical perform — a stage almost perfunctory to several attorneys. Just after that, stated prosecutors, he told the legislation firm of Dickstein, Shapiro, Morin & Oshinsky that he was in truth accredited — and labored there until finally his lie was discovered 15 months afterwards, prosecutors stated.
In 1997, Lee moved to do the job at Brian Cave LLP in Los Angeles. He lasted there less than two weeks when the firm observed out he didn’t have a license to apply in California, prosecutors stated. Final February, Lee passed the California bar exam. But, stated the report, “He never followed by way of with the techniques needed to grow to be accredited.”