Update (June 20, 2018): Lurie LLP and its lawyers from the Maslon law firm, Bill Pentelovitch and Martin Fallon, can celebrate now. They fought back Mr. Lapidus’ appeal in the case described below. Readers may point out that Defendant Neil Lapidus and his formidable trial team can still take this to the Minnesota Supreme Court and maybe they will. And maybe they will ultimately win.
On the other hand, it seems to us that Lapidus not only lost at the court of appeals; he lost bigly. We see no strong arguments for Supreme Court review, let alone reversal, but of course you never know.
Original post (April 19, 2017): (under the headline: A Bad Week for Neil Lapidus): It must have been a pretty challenging 2017 Tax Day for Mr. Lapidus, an accountant. Tax Day and the days leading up to it are a bear for all accountants. But, along with the crunch of filings, Mr. Lapidus was also socked with multi-million dollar liability on 4/14, in a lawsuit brought against him by his former partners at the Lurie accounting firm.
Mr. Lapidus was represented at trial by famed Minnesota trial lawyer, Mike Ciresi (so that undoubtedly did not come cheaply). On the other side, highly respected Maslon lawyers, Bill Pentelovitch and Martin Fallon, represented Lurie.
Hennepin County Judge M. Jacqueline Regis tagged Mr. Lapidus with over $2 million in liability, ordered his Lurie retirement benefits be cut off, ordered that he pay back some retirement benefits already received, and ordered him to cough up 25% of money that Mr. Lapidus had been paid by Lurie clients, allegedly in violation of a non-competition agreement he had entered into.
Mr. Lapidus (and a number of his clients) were apparently victims of the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme. It seems possible that Mr. Lapidus has taken at least a few significant risks, in the vain hope of high returns, with disastrous results. On the other hand, as Minnesota Litigator readers know well, appeals can lead to reversals. This should temper both sides’ celebration and humiliation.