The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Attorneys Craig T. Kimmel and Robert M. Silverman, two of the founding partners of Kimmel & Silverman, a lemon law firm with offices in multiple states, were suspended on September 2, 2008 by the Maryland Court of Appeals for failing to properly supervise a new satellite office and failing to properly communicate with a client. Their petitions for reinstatement are pending.
Their problems started in 2004, when they staffed a new satellite office with a single attorney, Robin Katz. Although she repeatedly requested a paralegal staff member, her request was denied until the satellite office met certain quotas, including generating $10,000.00 in revenue per week. Ms. Katz singlehandedly filed over 450 lawsuits during the next eleven months, but failed to file deadlines in 47 of them, resulting in dismissals with prejudice of all 47 cases.
After a one-week vacation in July 2005, Katz returned to the office to find two bins of mail that had piled up in her absence. Overwhelmed, she resigned on the spot.
At that point, Silverman came to the Maryland office and found stacks of unopened documents. He promptly hired three Maryland lawyers to handle the work.
If Kimmel & Silverman had made a different decision — to hire at least one experienced and competent paralegal to assist Ms. Katz — would they have had a much better outcome, i.e. a successful (or at least functional) satellite office and satisfied clients? Instead, Ms. Katz accepted voluntary disbarment, the firm had to settle 47 legal malpractice claims, and the senior partners are not only suspended and facing sanctions in Maryland, but are also facing disciplinary action in New York and Pennsylvania.