Supreme Court refuses to reconsider Laub suspension |

Supreme Court refuses to reconsider Laub suspension

Geoff Dorman

The Nevada supreme Court Tuesday refused to reconsider its decision suspending lawyer Joe Laub.

Laub, who has offices in Reno and at Lake Tahoe, was suspended from practicing law for six months in January. He and his father Melvin operate one of northern Nevada’s more prominent personal injury firms.

He was barred from practicing after the bar association ruled him guilty of jeopardizing the privacy of client files, providing clients misleading cost and expense information and assigning a non-lawyer in the firm legal duties.

The order dealt only with Joe Laub. It contained no allegations of any violations by his father Melvin.

The 26 page Supreme Court order raised serious concerns about Laub’s relationship with the owner of a group of companies offering personal injury plaintiffs loans to pay for medical treatment. In return, those people signed their insurance over to those companies which made their profit by collecting from the insurance company involved. The practice is referred to as “surgery on a lien.”

The bar association and Supreme Court said that businessman Charles Perez was allowed access to Laub’s client files to look for cases he might be interested in. The suspension order said Perez bought up liens from hospitals and other providers for medical services provided to Laub clients. He bought them at a discount then collected the full amount by sending the bill to Laub who, the order said, paid them from client funds without arguing the validity of the claims.

In addition, the order said Laub accepted payments from Perez and deposited the checks in his personal account.

Laub asked the high court to reconsider the suspension. Six of the seven justices voted to deny the rehearing. Chief Justice Bill Maupin, who disagreed with the original suspension, said he would grant a rehearing for Laub.

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