Lawyer, Jailed for Holding Client Files, Was Disbarred Anyway


The world’s worst bank robber, seen here yesterday, has a comrade in Kenneth Heller. Heller was a local attorney whose client didn’t like the representation Heller was giving her in a long-running case and switched lawyers. But Heller refused to release the legal files to the new attorney. A judge wasn’t able to get Heller to budge, either, so last year he threw Heller in jail for 30 days and fined him $10,000, and another judge upheld the decision this week.

But now something comes out at the Personal Injury Law Blog that may explain his cavalier attitude toward legal procedure: Heller was disbarred years ago. “A search of New York’s directory of attorneys only finds one Kenneth Heller,” says PILP’s Eric Turkewitz, “and it indicates he was disbarred in 2004.” He learned this in part through a 2007 Village Voice article about Heller (pictured), which revealed that Heller was disbarred, as one acquaintance put it, for “being an asshole” — for example, telling a judge “Kiss my tuchas!” (“Everyone wants to walk around without testicles,” Heller told the Voice) — but continued to “wreak havoc” by holding onto the files in the case of Emanuel v. Sheridan Transportation Corp. et al., which you can read about in the article.

So it would seem Heller was making a stink over files he had no right to hold despite the fact that he isn’t even eligible to represent a client. Surely there must be an award for that.


This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 29, 2009

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