Tom Girardi spent years as one of the most successful plaintiff's attorneys in America. He took on some of the world's largest companies in court and won hundreds of millions of dollars for victims. Girardi was a star who consulted on judicial picks, was showered with awards, and threw lavish parties to celebrate with friends and family. But in 2020, it all came crashing down. For years many of the people he represented - plane crash victims, those injured in explosions, and people poisoned by companies - never got paid. Girardi's law firm shuttered, his reality-TV star wife divorced him, and he admitted to a federal judge that he is broke. How did it all go so wrong? Join Law360 investigative reporter Brandon Lowrey and Managing Editor Amber McKinney for a two-part podcast that unpacks what Girardi meant to the California legal community and how flaws in the systems meant to hold attorneys accountable let him escape public punishment for decades.
Ep. 2: A Low Bar In California
19:39Tom Girardi allegedly grifted clients for years and got away with it. But how? In this episode of our podcast exploring the fall of Girardi, Law360 reporter Brandon Lowrey shares the findings of his extensive investigation into the flaws in the system meant to hold attorneys accountable. What he found were legal, structural and cultural flaws - particularly at the State Bar of California - that allowed Girardi to escape public punishment for decades.
Ep. 1: The Thief In Shining Armor
29:57Tom Girardi spent decades as one of the most successful plaintiff's attorneys in America, but in 2020, it all fell apart when he was accused of stealing settlement money from his clients. Girardi seemingly had it all — he was a celebrated plaintiffs attorney with a winning record and a famous wife who was a rising star of reality TV. But attorneys who knew him and clients who trusted him say that shiny exterior hid a darker truth.
Ep. 5: Big Risks For Attorneys
23:00More and more law firms are jumping into the cannabis world — but do they know the risks they’re facing? Lawyers who have been working with cannabis for a while say they have faced death threats, struggled with ethical questions and worried about criminal charges — but they can’t imagine doing anything else.
Ep. 4: Don’t Steal My Brand
23:18Cannabis companies realize federal legalization could change everything about the industry they know. To prepare, many of the savviest are looking for ways to protect their brands so they won’t be drowned out. But for this industry, it takes some real ingenuity to build that fence.
Ep. 3: The Red Tape Problem
24:21As states open their doors to marijuana, they have to figure out the rules to govern it. On this episode we take a trip to California to explore that state’s efforts to control a booming industry — and why some business owners say it is pushing them to stay illegal.
Ep. 2: Dangerous Cash
24:12It’s no secret that many cannabis companies have had trouble getting a bank account. On this episode of Legalization we explain just why that is -- and the lengths some businesses are going to get away from cash.
Ep. 1: The Boogeyman In The Tax Code
28:58A single sentence in the U.S. tax code targets marijuana businesses and saddles them with a crushing tax burden. Here's how a relic of the War on Drugs is making it really hard for cannabis entrepreneurs to get off the ground.
Welcome To Law360 Explores: Legalization
2:50More than 40 states have some form of legal marijuana, but the drug is still federally illegal. That tension can impact everything marijuana businesses do, from how much they pay in taxes to whether they can protect their brands in court. Here's a sample of what you'll hear as host Diana Novak Jones takes you on a five-part journey into the murky legal world surrounding these companies.