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Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, September 30, 2005

Former Paul Weiss Partner Disbarred for Stealing From Family Trust

Sad tale in today's New York Law Journal:

A retired partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has been disbarred for stealing more than $500,000 from a family trust for which he was a trustee.

Allan L. Blumstein admitted he essentially depleted an account intended to benefit his elderly aunt, who was suffering from dementia and was confined to a nursing home. The former litigator said he took the money to maintain a lavish but unaffordable lifestyle, without which he feared his wife would leave him....

Blumstein testified that, during the time he was depleting both his and his aunt's accounts, his wife, Susan, was earning an income of between $100,000 and $150,000 as a fund-raiser for the Manhattan School of Music. But he said he never asked her to contribute to their expenses, nor did he ever tell her how dire their financial situation had become. "I never did what I should have done, which was to face up to the issue, which was to say to my wife, we can't go on this way, this is not the way we can live," Blumstein testified at the hearing last March. He and his wife, who were married in 1967, were divorced in 2003 after his conduct came to light....

The judge said he suspected Blumstein's longstanding career disappointment and his "dynamic, ambitious, aggressive" wife, whose work associated her with extremely wealthy people, created "tremendous pressure" on Blumstein "to provide more for his family consistent with Susan's expectations [and] desires than he could do given where he was professionally."

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