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Rothstein's lawyer says he should win pro bono award

Scott Rothstein's lawyer Marc Nurik revealed some financial details related to his employment at the Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler law firm -- from the diamond-studded cufflinks he received from Rothstein to oustanding loans from the law firm -- during a deposition in the bankruptcy case today.

It appeared that the Berger Singerman law firm working to collect money for the bankruptcy estate was laying the groundwork to sue Nurik to recoup loans and possibly other money he received while at the law firm. Here are the highlights:

* Nurik received $190,000 in loans between 2007 and 2009 from the firm based on verbal agreements between Rothstein and Nurik. Ultimately about $125,000 -- the loans from 2009 -- were forgiven and considered compensation.

Chuck Lichtman, the lawyer handling the deposition, asked Nurik: "Are you in a position to pay it back?" to which Nurik replied "No." Nurik also said he is due money from the law firm which he said should go toward offsetting the loans including expenses for out of state travel and salary for his final two weeks. Nurik, whose starting salary was $350,000 and ending salary was $500,000 in the final weeks, wasn't specific as to why he needed the loans though he was going through a divorce.

* Nurik said he had been staying in a home owned by Rothstein for free from July 2008 until October 2009. After Rothstein's law firm imploded Halloween weekend Nurik started paying $2,500 in monthly rent to an escrow account held by Kim Rothstein's attorney Scott Saidel. Nurik tried to downplay the value of staying in Rothstein's house for free saying that it had mold and was in need of repairs.

* Nurik received a $100,000 settlement from State Farm as a result of a hip injury he sustained when a car hit him while biking. The law firm handled the case for Nurik who was paid in chunks over time -- the final installment on Friday Oct. 30 -- just as the law firm imploded.

"Right as the law firm was collapsing how did you manage to get that payment?..." Lichtman asked. "Didn't it strike you as odd that money held in trust wasn't promptly paid?"

Nurik responded that he had been asking for the money for "some time" and had no reason to believe the money wasn't held in trust.

* When Nurik started representing Rothstein he was paid a $50,000 retainer through the parents of Kim Rothstein. But he later turned that over to an escrow account because "I wasn't able to my satisfaction confirm the money was completely free of taint." At one point Nurik joked that he should win an award for all of his pro bono work. He said that Scott Rothstein's grandmother provided payment that went to Michael Seese, Rothstein's bankruptcy attorney.

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