by John Darer
Steven Eugene Cauley, former partner in Little Rock, Arkansas, law firm Cauley Bowman Carney & Williams LLC, pled guilty to charges of stealing more than $9 million of client's money from the case "in re BISYS Securities Litigation 04-3840 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan)". Cauley controlled an escrow account for the settlement money. During 2007 he periodically transferred amounts totaling at least $9.3 million to pay business expenses from various ventures or for his personal investments, according to court documents.
This disgraced "legal hood" recognized that his excuse did not justify his felonies and blamed it on a "severe depressive episode" and explained to the judge "I always made a good deal of money in my law practice and knowing I had some additional money coming in, I took a short cut," said Cauley, 41, who was said to be one of the top young lawyers in the United States in 2005, by the National Law Journal. That's some short cut!
Cauley attempted to conceal his misappropriation of the money, telling a partner in his law firm that it was invested in Treasury bonds and that it would be wired after liquidation of the bonds, but he failed to do so.
Cauley is scheduled for sentencing on September 10, 2009. He faces up to eight years imprisonment and fines of up to $125,000 for his "severe depressive episode". His voluntary surrender of his law license was accepted by the Arkansas Supreme Court on May 28, 2009
Hopefully a certain settlement professional from "a neighboring state" (who last year authored a blog post with a URL that really contains the words "Bill Lerach Takes It Like a Man") will not laud the "grace" of this felon in the same way he did disgraced class action securities lawyer Bill Lerach.