Is there any limit to a creative lawyer’s ability to find a way to finagle a fee?
A case in point: this story in the Washington Post about retired lawyer Robert M. Mardirosian, who allegedly held pieces of stolen art “hostage” for 28 years while he tried to land a reward for its return. One was a still life by Paul Cezanne.
According to the WaPo:
Mardirosian said that when he discovered the paintings in 1979, the alleged thief, David Colvin, had been shot to death by two men seeking to collect on a debt. The lawyer said he considered returning the works to their owner, Michael Bakwin, who lived in Stockbridge at the time, but changed his mind when he discovered that none of the art was insured.
Mardirosian, 71, hid the paintings in Monaco and then in a Swiss bank while he said he worked to recoup 10 percent of their value from Bakwin. He set up a shell company to facilitate a trade or sale.
Here’s a recent picture of Mardirosian, Esq.:
And this might be him as rendered by Cezanne:
Is there something about law school that gives lawyers near super-human powers to rationalize almost anything, given enough time to think up a plan?
We may need a dose of ethical Kryptonite, now and then.