Las Vegas lawyer agrees to plea deal over client funds – About Your Online Magazine

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A high-profile lawyer in Las Vegas agreed to a court settlement this week, saying he did not protect clients’ accounts, supervised employees and responded to Nevada State Bar Association requests for bank records.

Assistant attorney Daniel Young filed a seven-accusation complaint in August 2020 against Bret Whipple, accusing him of not competently and diligently representing clients, converting and mixing tens of thousands of client trust funds, failing to report theft and not supervising non-lawyer employees, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday.

“There is a pattern of misconduct in this case,” said Young during a virtual hearing on Tuesday.

Defense attorney Michael Warhola said Whipple feels bad about his failures, but noted that he has already repaid all the money stolen by one of his employees from client trust funds.

“Mr. Whipple is an honest and hard-working lawyer – he can be too honest – which is why we are here today,” said Warhola. “We will not be returning here because of any fiduciary account problems or any employee theft.”

Under the guilty plea agreement, the bar will reject claims that Whipple has not demonstrated adequate competence, diligence or communication in its legal practice and that it has allowed an employee to practice without a license.

The state Supreme Court will then decide whether to approve the plea agreement. If approved, Whipple will be placed on probation for 18 months, requiring him to hire an accounting firm to audit his accounts and return any lost money found during the review. Whipple’s license can be suspended for one year if he fails to complete his probation period.

Whipple won a seat on the Nevada Board of Regents in 2002, serving a term. He missed two attempts at re-election.

Paula Fonseca