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You sure you can afford that attorney?

I haven’t really paid much attention to the Allen Stanford case, but this story about his plea to unfreeze some of his assets so he can pay for his legal representation caught my eye.

“All of Allen Stanford’s money, all of his records, and most of his clothing and personal possessions were seized by the Receiver … the same orders left him with no assets to retain counsel to represent him,” according to a court filing on behalf of Stanford.

Attorneys are asking the court for $10 million to be placed into an account in the name of famed Texas attorney Dick DeGuerin to pay for legal fees, expert witnesses, travel and other expenses to defend Stanford.

“The cost of Allen Stanford’s representation in this Court and many others through the years it will take to conclude this litigation will almost certainly exceed $20 million,” according to documents filed with a federal court in Dallas.

The problem, of course, is that this is money he allegedly stole from his investors. I know I’d be pretty pissed off if money that I’d lost was being used to pursue his defense and perhaps eventually his appeals. Stanford is of course entitled to a defense attorney who will zealously represent his interests, and that attorney is entitled to be compensated adequately. I guess I’m a little queasy about that entitlement extending to millions of what may be other people’s dollars in order to pay one of the best attorneys around. I’m sure there must be some case law that addresses this question. Can anyone shed some light on that? Thanks.

In the meantime, my entirely free advice to Allen Stanford is to quit talking to the press. My advice to everyone else is to read the Houston Press cover story on the Stanford Financial Group from last week, and this Texas Monthly feature from the upcoming May issue. And am I the only one who wonders just what the heck it is about Mexia, Texas, that produced both Allen Stanford and Anna Nicole Smith?

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