Courting Justice: A Lawyer Who Lost His Moral Compass

April 24, 2014

Last week, I read in the newspaper that my law school classmate, Andrew Gaber, had passed away. I assumed Andrew had died of brain cancer since the obituary requested donations be made in his memory to a brain cancer research center. I was saddened to hear that a peer had died so young, leaving behind a wife and children.

But earlier today, I learned that now there’s talk that Andy committed suicide to avoid being prosecuted for allegedly staging phony slip-and-fall cases to defraud insurance companies. Apparently, over 22 people have been arrested and charged with insurance fraud; already, 15 of those have pled guilty to the charges. What’s more, the police are arresting 24 more tied to this scam that’s turning out to be quite a large criminal enterprise.

Simply stated, I, and an overwhelming majority of plaintiff lawyers, abhor a lawyer who uses his license to steal. Staging accidents to defraud insurance companies out of money is an absolute disgrace.

Every lawyer starts their career by taking an oath to uphold the law and the truth, maintaining the highest level of ethical responsibility. Stories like Andy’s place an indelible stain on the legal profession and promote the stereotype that all lawyers are self-serving, greedy, fast-buck con artists.

But know this: when personal injury lawyers like myself hear a story about a fellow lawyer who lost his moral compass, we dig in, and recommit ourselves to proving the stereotype wrong. We continue to act with the utmost professionalism, integrity and diligence to uphold the law and practice our profession with fidelity and honor.

There are two things I can tell you at this point. I am still saddened about Andy’s passing, and I earnestly hope his family can find peace. Second, I remain proud of the work lawyers like myself do for society. My moral compass, and those of my colleagues at Kolsby Gordon, never moves. Never.