No one makes the legal establishment cringe quite like Las Vegas personal injury lawyer Glen Lerner. Before last month, the most the State Bar could do to rein in Mr. Lerner’s high-volume, speedy-settlement practice was try to set some limits on his sensational television advertising.
Now the “Heavy Hitter” is in hot water for skipping a client’s murder trial. The Nevada Bar Association is investigating Mr. Lerner’s failure to appear in court Jan. 22 on behalf of Mario Lino, his pool cleaner. The lawyer is alleged to have left a phone message with a prosecutor saying he was on sabbatical in Pennsylvania and wouldn’t be returning to Las Vegas anytime soon.
But the prospect of disbarment and jail time hasn’t diminished Mr. Lerner’s enthusiasm for exercising his First Amendment rights — and laying bare the nature of his profession at the same time.
Despite being AWOL from the valley, Mr. Lerner spent big bucks to debut his firm’s latest TV ad during the Super Bowl. In case you missed it, here’s the storyline:
During a neighborhood touch football game, a particularly large boy levels another kid with a solid tackle. The unsuspecting boy begins bleeding all over his shirt, and an argument ensues.
A loud, pudgy lad steps forward to advocate for the victim. After chiding the bruiser for tackling during a touch football game, he orders the boy to hand over his shirt for ruining his friend’s jersey with bloodstains.
The boy who took the lick is otherwise OK and appears pleased with the settlement. Has justice been done? Not by a long shot. The young barrister then orders the goon to give up his shoes and bike, as well. The ashamed aggressor timidly agrees, and the victim looks like he won the lottery.
Cue the smiling Mr. Lerner, who states that he’s been looking out for little guys his whole life.
If the State Bar is unable to derail Mr. Lerner’s career on the allegations of legal malpractice, the body could seek sanctions over this obviously false and misleading advertisement. After all, if the ad were remotely accurate, it would have shown the young lawyer keeping the bike for himself.