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Making sure your client has the money to pay his legal bills would seem to be a simple step for any high-priced lawyer taking on a big case. But Chadbourne & Parke’s Abbe Lowell seems to have miscalculated when signing on to defend Walter Anderson, the D.C. businessman indicted for allegedly hiding $450 million from the Internal Revenue Service in a network of offshore shell companies. Last week a judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia allowed Lowell and his Chadbourne colleagues to withdraw from the case, citing Anderson’s failure to pay more than $1 million in fees to the firm. But Lowell isn’t completely free, as he was ordered to continue representing Anderson in his efforts to be released on bail. According to the order penned by Judge Paul Friedman, Anderson had hoped to fund his defense by selling assets “held by a corporate entity with which Anderson had an indemnification agreement.” That sale was blocked through an attachment on the assets stemming from bankruptcy proceedings against an Anderson-affiliated company. The former telecom tycoon will now be represented by Michelle Peterson of the Federal Public Defender’s Office. And when does Lowell expect to be paid the outstanding million? “Let’s put it this way,” he says, “I’m not counting on it for my retirement.”
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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