Sunday, June 25, 2006

On the topic of civil rights and retaliation

Another sometime lecturer on civil rights litigation, a California lawyer named Stephen Yagman, has been indicted for tax evasion and money laundering, according to this Bashman post.

One of the cited articles had this selective summary of Mr. Yagman's career:

"1976 -- Admitted to the State Bar

1982 -- Represents a homeless man who is awarded $100,000 in a settlement with the city of Hemet. The man had accused police of driving him out of town in handcuffs and beating him.

1988 -- Represents a pregnant woman who sues Riverside police after she is punched in the stomach during an arrest. She is awarded nearly $200,000.

1989 -- Six-month disciplinary suspension for seeking an unconscionable fee in a 1980 case.

1994 -- Receives a $290,000 settlement from Riverside County stemming from injuries a family suffered from deputies and a flash-bang grenade in a 1989 drug raid on the wrong house in Pedley.

1995 -- A federal jury finds Riverside police used excessive force in shooting a fleeing felon who had shot two other people. The client is awarded $184,000, but judge set it aside.

1995 -- A federal appeals rules that Yagman cannot be disciplined for out-of-court speech critical of a judge.

1997 -- Chosen for a team of special prosecutors to investigate the FBI's deadly standoff with a white supremacist at Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

1998 -- Six-month suspension for ethical violations including overcharging clients. He improperly collected both court-awarded attorney fees and a 45 percent contingency fee, for a take of more than $400,000, leaving his clients in a police-misconduct case to each collect $810.

2001 -- Yagman ends his service as special prosecutor of an FBI sharpshooter in the Ruby Ridge case when an Idaho prosecutor decides to drop charges.

2002 -- Files the first lawsuit on behalf of the Guantanamo Bay prison detainees.

2006 -- Indicted on charges of federal income-tax evasion."

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