Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bid to Be Attorney Rejected; Presents 'Hazard' to Public

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Bid to Be Attorney Rejected; Presents 'Hazard' to Public

Article excerpt

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has rejected the application of a Tulsa certified public accountant who wanted to become a lawyer, saying he was "a hazard to the public" and ethically unfit to practice law because of misrepresentations he made to former clients who invested their money in several real estate partnerships he formed.

Dan G. Mailath, 37, who is head of Mailath & Associates of Tulsa, filed the case after the Oklahoma Board of Bar Examiners rejected his application for admission to the bar in early 1987.

The board, following a two-day hearing to determine if he was fit to practice law, rejected his application. Mailath appealed the case early last year, saying the board's rejection should be overturned because it failed to include a "reasoned explanation" of why he was rejected and that his past actions should not be taken into account.

Mailath also claimed that his standing as a certified public accountant should establish that he was ethically fit to practice law, a claim the court rejected out of hand.

Mailath has been a practicing accountant since about 1975, according to the opinion released this week by Justice Marian Opala. He graduated from law school in 1980 and applied to take the bar examination in February 1987.

In 1981 however, Mailath "began to expand his professional horizons," according to the opinion, and through his clients, friends and business acquaintances he expanded his practice.

Mailath also "took a serious interest" in the commercial real estate market and began forming partnerships to acquire property for development.

Between 1981 and 1984, Mailath formed over a dozen partnerships, most of which contained agreements drafted by Mailath himself.

Mailath paid no money into the partnerships, but he was obligated to perform the accounting and to be responsible for the financing and development of them. Also included in the partnerships was a certain loan office whose bank financed many of the ventures, some of them "in toto," the court said.

"Whatever prosperity the partnerships may have initially bestowed upon the partners," the court said, "financial hardships quickly followed. Mailath and his enterprises were eventually plagued not only with cash-flow problems, but with the imminent threat of foreclosures.

"The methods Mailath used in his attempt to solve the financial woes form the very foundation for the board's decision to refuse him admission by examination."

Those "methods," according to the opinion, included misrepresenting his position in the partnerships and taking finder's fees from other entities without informing the partners. …

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