Regular readers of Minnesota Litigator may recall ouroboros, an ancient symbol of the self-devouring snake, and a metaphorical nick-name for the Michael Afremov/Michael LaFond legal malpractice case pending before U.S. District Court Judge Patrick J. Schiltz and U.S. Mag. Judge Janie S. Mayeron (D. Minn.). The case seems to be an infinitely recursive and overlapping möbius loop of lawyers and “deeply troubling” allegations of wrong-doing.
A snake in a death struggle with itself must eventually attain its goal (killing its prey) and must confront its own defeat (dying) but, as with the infinite – ∞ – the notion of time seems beside the point when it comes to ouroboros.
But, as for the Afremov case, one gets a sense that somehow or other this long struggle must end soon. Maybe Judge Mayeron’s latest order, rebuffing discovery efforts of plaintiff but inserting some unsettling aspects of defendants’ conduct might push the case toward its overdue conclusion?
The most recent discovery fight was over Plaintiff/Former Client Afremov’s efforts to access his lawyers’ lawyers’ papers. Afremov was billed for and did pay for his own lawyers’ criminal defense lawyers after all. Does he not get to see what he pad for ? (No.) (And he was held to have waived his attorney-client privilege over communications with some of his lawyers. Tit-for-tat? (No.))
Even more breath-taking than having to pay for his lawyers’ lawyers, Afremov provided evidence that he was billed by his lawyers for their time consulting with their own criminal defense lawyers. My people call this chutzpah.