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Who Bugged the Law Firm? And Why?

By William Vogeler, Esq. | Last updated on

Drywall debris on the law firm floor was the clue.

Investigating the ceiling behind a crumbly tile, a maintenance man found wires, cameras, and microphones at the law firm. Someone had been spying on the lawyers, but why?

The personal injury firm has sued a former investigator for invasion of privacy, and two former associates have sued the firm for allegedly unethical practices. It's a tale that shows if anything is stranger than fiction, it's law practice.

Invasion of Privacy

Lee Levenson, one of the plaintiffs, sued after law firm founder Michael Steinger fired him. He thinks he was caught in the crossfire of a battle between the partners; partner Gary Iscoe left the firm in an undisclosed settlement.

"The partners had a great deal of mistrust for each other," Levenson told the Palm Beach Post.

Police investigated the hidden cameras, and found wires had been cut. They concluded it led to a missing recording device, which someone removed before police arrived.

However, they recovered a video from a security camera that showed two men entering the office with tools and a ladder after hours. One of the men, Michael Coronel, had previously worked for the firm as an investigator.

Right to Counsel

When police asked to question Coronel, Levenson advised him not to cooperate and to hire a lawyer. Steinger said that's why he fired Levenson.

"He was instructing him not to cooperate in an investigation into what happened in our offices and that was unacceptable," Steinger said.

Meanwhile, Steinger called police and told them his employees did not want to cooperate. Police then closed the case.

"It's very John Grisham," said attorney Michael Pike, who is representing the firm. Only, there was no dead body behind the drywall.

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