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REUBEN LENSKE -- A Lawyer's Wisdom on Attorney Fees


I bent down at the knee of disgraced Oregon lawyer Reuben Lenske for some of his wisdom. He was 90 years old at the time. Born in Russia and subsequently accused in the U.S. of being a communist, he defended the poor, the meek and the downtrodden during the ‘50's and the ‘60's. This earned him a place on an FBI watch list. After an extended investigation, the IRS went after him for tax evasion. He was convicted, sentenced to two years in jail, fined $6,000 and disbarred. Subsequently, exonerated, one of the appellate judges chastised the government for their witch-hunt. He later became one of Oregon's biggest landlords, owning over 300 properties when he died at age 102 in 2001.

His wisdom for me on that day was this. He told me that after every case, he sat down with his client to ask -- "Did I do you any good". If the client gave a thumbs up, he charged accordingly. If the client gave another answer, he charged accordingly.

He died a multimillionaire. And he outlived those FBI/IRS government guys by a generation.

Posted on Friday, January 9, 2009 at 09:07AM by Registered CommenterLAUREN PAULSON in | CommentsPost a Comment | References2 References

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