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James Pickerstein resigns from practice of law following complaint of missing client funds
By Edmund H. Attorney resigns following complaint that client lost $704,000 Noted Fairfield lawyer H. Attorney H. James Pickerstein agreed on Friday to resign permanently from the practice of law following a complaint that he had misappropriated about $700,000 in client funds belonging to former Danbury carting executive James Galante.
PDF: James Pickerstein’s Resignation LetterRead the story
In his written resignation, filed Friday at Superior Court in Bridgeport, Pickerstein acknowledged that he was being investigated by state bar overseers. He said in the document that, although he denies “some or all” of the facts in the continuing investigation, there is “sufficient evidence to prove by clear and convincing evidence” a violation professional rules concerning the safe keeping of client funds.
Pickerstein’s lawyers and the state officials who investigate attorney misconduct would not elaborate on the complaint. Neither Pickerstein nor a representative of his former law firm, McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney Carpenter, could be reached to discuss the matter. Pickerstein, 68, recently left the law firm.
But others with knowledge of the matter said that Galante has accused Pickerstein, who had access to his funds, of misappropriating $704,000. They also said the McElroy’s insurance carrier had agreed to cover Galante’s loss. Attorney’s office and FBI have opened an investigation into the allegation of missing client funds, people familiar with the matter said. Department of Justice agreed to make to Galante as part of a plea bargain agreement that he reached with the government in a trash industry price fixing case.
Pickerstein lawyers William F. Dow III and Andrew B. Bowman would not discuss the circumstances of Pickerstein’s resignation from the bar. Pickerstein hired both lawyers, now in private practice, as assistant federal prosecutors in the early 1970s.
“Jim Pickerstein has helped countless clients and lawyers, many without charge, throughout his career, despite a number of profound personal tragedies,” the two said. “Those he has helped have reached out to express their strong support. We consider it an honor to represent Jim.”
The sentiments expressed by the two lawyers, as well as shock, were echoed by lawyers throughout the state as news of Pickerstein’s cheap jerseys resignation circulated Friday. Attorney. Attorney Stewart H. Jones left office for health reasons.
Galante hired Pickerstein to represent his business interests and New Haven lawyer Hugh Keefe to defend him from the criminal charges. Keefe said Friday that he continues to represent Galante but refused to discuss the circumstances of Pickerstein’s resignation from the practice of law.
Galante, formerly one of the largest private trash haulers on the East Coast, and the others were charged with conspiring with New York mobsters to monopolize trash collection and artificially inflate consumer costs in southwestern Connecticut and in New York, in the cheap nhl jerseys china counties north of New York City.