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Beverly Hills bar embezzlement Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP)�A California lawyer has admitted embezzling nearly $824,000 from the Beverly Hills Bar Association to support his gambling habit. David Alan Wolfe, 36, faces 2 1/2 years in prison when he is sentenced in federal court next month under a plea agreement with prosecutors. Wolfe, former controller of the association, admitted taking the money to FBI agents in May. His attorney, George F. Bird Jr., said Wolfe “gambled it all away.” Since the thefts, the bar association has struggled to stay afloat and provide promised scholarships and legal services. “It has been devastating because he left us with a bare cupboard and, even worse, he left us with unpaid bills,” said Marc R. Staenberg, the president-elect and interim executive director of the bar association. Attorneys feud over Web sites Louisville, Ky. (AP)�Two Kentucky attorneys who specialize in lawyer ethics are feuding over one’s attempt to exploit the other’s name to solicit business through the Internet. Ben Cowgill, a Lexington lawyer, launched a practice representing other lawyers after resigning as the Kentucky Bar Association’s chief disciplinary counsel last summer. Cowgill arranged for his name and Web site link to appear when potential clients searched for Peter Ostermiller, a Louisville lawyer, on the Internet search engine Google. Ostermiller demanded last month that Cowgill end the practice, alleging that it was misleading and deceptive. “In general, I could care less about [your] various advertisements,” Ostermiller said in a June 7 letter to Cowgill that he also sent to the Kentucky bar. “However, when the advertising is using my name, that is where I must draw the line.” The bar’s advertising commission is set to address the general issue of Web site advertising at its July 21 meeting. Cowgill defended his use of what is known as a “sponsored link” to search results for Ostermiller, and he denied he was trying to, as he put it, “sponge on anyone’s reputation.” “It’s a matter of putting one’s name in the place where people are looking,” Cowgill told the Courier-Journal of Louisville. “If a large firm opens an office in Lexington and sees that other firms are advertising in the program of the Lexington Philharmonic, it is only natural that the new firm would want to put its own ad in the same place.” Cowgill aborted his link early last week, though he insisted it was not inappropriate. Many lawyers buy sponsored links to generic terms such as “divorce lawyer” or “drunk driving,” but representatives of the American Bar Association, as well as lawyer-marketing professionals, said that they had never heard of a lawyer acquiring a link to a competing lawyer’s name. Watchdog jailed New York judicial watchdog Elena Sassower was sentenced to six months in jail for disrupting Congress after refusing to write letters of apology as part of a deal to receive probation. She told District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Brian F. Holeman: “I am not remorseful, and I will not lie.” As the co-founder of the Center for Judicial Accountability in White Plains, N.Y., Sassower has testified-or attempted to-at numerous state judicial hearings. The Washington incident that led to her prison term happened in May 2003, when she was arrested and charged with disrupting Congress after a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for Judge Richard C. Wesley, a New York Court of Appeals judge nominated for the federal bench. Holeman sentenced Sassower, 48, to six months in jail, the maximum for her misdemeanor jury conviction. � American Lawyer Media

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