A leading law firm, Holland and Knight, was recently found liable by a Los Angeles jury for fraud, legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary responsibility. The jury ordered Holland and Knight to pay $34.5 million as a result of their involvement in a fraud lawsuit involving Shi Shailendra, an Atlanta real estate promoter.
The Sabadias family claimed that Holland and Knight and Glass assisted Shi Shailendra in diverting tens of millions of dollars of the Sabadia's money right into Shailendra's pockets. The jury found that Holland and Knight, independently, and through its responsible partner White Reeder Glass, had tricked the plaintiffs into believing that the law firm was representing the plaintiff's interests; however, the law firm was not. Sabadia stated that the law firm basically allowed them to be financially mugged. Holland and Knight created multiple entities for the Sabadias, portrayed to banks and others that they were representing the family, directed the Sabadias family to sign various agreements and legally binding documents, and even sent the Sabadias blank pages to sign in various transactions. The prosecution stated that this is a victory not only for the Sabadias family, but for all consumers in California.