Biglaw Partner Suspended 1 Year for Billing Clients for Personal Telephone Calls

In re Matter of Carmody, 2006 NY Slip Op 06058 (NY App Div July 27, 2006). The NY Lawyer writeup.

Patrick Carmody was a former partner at NY’s Willkie Farr, where he made about $1,000,000/year. During 2001 and 2002, he made a total of 129 hours of personal International telephone calls costing a total of about $30,000. Instead of paying for these calls himself, he charged the calls to various clients by accessing their billing codes before making the calls or by listing the billing code on timesheets. His defenses were that he he was experiencing a lot of personal stress and he was trying to hide the amount of time he was spending on personal matters from his partners. Despite these (weak) defenses, a disciplinary board called his actions “simple thievery,” and he received a one year suspension of his license.

UPDATE: My Shingle blogs on the topic. Check out the comments.