In the Matter of Douglas Krasnoff, Krasnoff was automatically suspended for noncompliance with CLE requirements in Indiana and reciprocal discipline was imposed by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. In 2002, Krasnoff agreed to represent an individual in a claim against their employer. In exchange, the client agreed to pay Krasnoff a $5,000 retainer fee and would also provide him between 33 to 40 percent of any recovery in the matter as a contingency fee. The following month after retention, Krasnoff was suspended for noncompliance with CLE requirements. However, he nevertheless then proceeded to file the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on the behalf of the client.
During the litigation, Krasnoff subsequently charged the client an additional $10,000 “appeal fee” and also charged him $8,000 to add claims to the lawsuit (which were never added). The lawsuit ultimately settled for $30,000 and the settlement agreement stipulated that Krasnoff receive $20,000 in attorney fees, but the $5,000 retainer was not applied as a credit. The client never received the $10,000 and subsequently filed a grievance against Krasnoff.
Krasnoff was found in violation of Rule 1.8(a) for renegotiating his fee agreement without advising his client that they should consult with independent counsel. He was also found to have violated rule 5.5(a) for practicing law with a suspended license. As a result of his actions, he was suspended for at least 180 days without automatic reinstatement.
In the Matter of: Douglas Krasnoff, No. 49S00-1308-DI-517 (Ind. 2017).
Alex Passo and the Patterson Law Firm, LLC handle legal malpractice actions throughout Illinois and Indiana. If you have a legal malpractice case that you would like to discuss with Alex, you can reach him at (312) 750-1820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.