Another NY BigLaw Partner Caught Lying to His Firm

In the Matter of William P. DiSalvatore, 2006 NY Slip Op 06210 (NY App Div Aug. 10, 2006). The NY Lawyer story.

William P. DiSalvatore was a partner at WilmerHale, a major national firm. He was also a rising star as a patent litigator–the National Law Journal had picked hm as one of the top IP litigators under 40. Despite this bright promise, he’s no longer an attorney. Instead, he resigned from the bar (and his firm) for a variety of serious misconduct, including:

* taking on friends and family as putative pro bono clients to get them free legal work

* falsely billing time to other pro bono clients

* submitting $109,000 of expense reports for non-reimbursable personal expenses

* forging client signatures on conflict waivers

* telling a client that a brief was still in draft form when it had already been filed

DiSalvatore’s story follows the recent story of Patrick Carmody, another NY lawyer busted for deception (in that case, running up 6 figures of “free” personal telephone calls misallocated to clients). I just don’t understand these situations–what causes very successful and well-compensated professionals to make such poor choices?