Famed attorney F Lee Bailey is rightly renowned for his courtroom exploits, but the renown is now more focused on his second bankruptcy as he fights the IRS.
The attorney, best known most recently for his OJ Simpson team membership defense, has also a record of defending and winning some of the toughest cases in recent times.
He has been representing himself in the tax courts and while he enjoyed some success it has been costing him plenty, including 12 per cent interest on his debt, currently figured at around $5 million.
It has also resulted in years of battling the IRS and the current, second bankruptcy is intended to remove some liens from his Yarmouth, Maine home and permit him to enter a payment arrangement with the IRS.
He has since been disbarred in Florida and Maine for “offering false testimony, engaging in ex parte communications, violating a client’s confidences, violating two federal court orders, and trust account violations, including commingling and misappropriation,” as the Florida Supreme Court wrote.
His initial problems with the government stemmed from a case involving French national Claude L. DuBoc, who was convicted in 1994 of international drug smuggling and money laundering.
Bailey’s fees were to be taken from a pharmaceutical company in an unorthodox deal with the government that ultimately lead to a claim that the shares he held were in trust for the government. No deal, Bailey said and the arguments ensued.
His current IRS issues aside, the attorney’s depth of experience and abilities are undoubted. So much so that he became a near household name lawyer and his name appeared in television regularly, including ‘Jeopardy’.
Bailey’s Jeopardy Questions
F Lee Bailey’s name has appeared in many cases and television appearances, as well as “Jeopardy” questions on American TV that the Washington Post outlined where his name featured –
1984: “SCIENCE $400: You might have to put F. Lee Bailey on one to admit he had a show about one. (What are lie detectors?)
1991: “LAWYERS $600: This defender of Albert DeSalvo, Dr. Sam Sheppard & Capt. E. Medina is now a spokesman for Dictaphone.”
1992: “FAMOUS GEMINIS $500: The Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo had this Gemini man on his case as his lawyer.”
1997: “COURT CASES $1000: F. Lee Bailey took the case of this Ohio doctor & convicted murderer to the Supreme Court in 1966 & won.”
1999: MIDDLE NAME LEE $400: His high-profile clients have included Sam Sheppard, Patty Hearst & O.J. Simpson.”
Bailey filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which provides for the liquidation of assets, with many of them exempt, by a trustee with the funds used as far as they’ll go to repay debts.
Asked how he felt about his misfortunes, Bailey said: “You know when they let me out of prison, the press came around and said ‘don’t you feel humble, don’t you feel sorry for yourself that this judge socked you away?’ I said look ‘I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.’ So I’m in top shape. If you’ve landed an aircraft on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean, there’s very little to fear in life.