Fred Barakat, a Delaware attorney, has had his law license suspended for 2 years after the Delaware Supreme Court found that he failed to maintain a bona fide office and adequate books and records. Barakat mainly worked from his home, but had an "office" listed for his firm. This "office" did not include any designated office space that was exclusively his. The employees of the landlord at this building collected his mail and greeted any visitors he had. These visitors would then be directed to the 4th floor where a receptionist was stationed. Barakat would then rent a conference room to met with the client. Barakat's presence at this office was described as "sporadic and unscheduled".
Delaware Supreme Court Rule 12 requires Delaware attorneys to maintain a "bona fide" office for the practice of law. This required at a minimum, a "responsible person action on [his] behalf - i.e., accountable and answerable to you, by employment or by contract." This was not done in even the slightest of ways the court held.
Barakat books and records were deficient based upon his failure to prepare bank reconciliations or client subsidiary ledgers and the inability to prove cash receipt entries to deposit totals.
Throughout the 6 year investigation in Barakat, he routinely denied any wrong doing.
The lesson from this case: if you practice in Delaware, even a tiny little office will do, as long as you regularly show up! Also, don't lie about your mistakes, it only makes them worse.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Well, it has been quite a while since my last post. No, I didn't quit... I was on Active Duty for the Army for a while and when I got back, I was given a promotion at work so I have been trying to settle back into things. But now that I am settled, I will begin posting again. Hopefully tomorrow will bring something exciting!