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Whipple sanctioned by state supreme court, failed to protect client funds

The Nevada Supreme Court placed high-profile Las Vegas attorney Bret Whipple on 18 months of probation and directed him to repay any clients that lost money within 30 days, according to an opinion filed Friday.

Whipple’s troubles, first reported by the Review-Journal in December 2020, showed he was accused of failing to safeguard client funds from a former employee who stole as much as $110,000, records show.

Whipple had vowed to fight the allegations but took a plea deal with the State Bar of Nevada disciplinary committee in April, agreeing to hire someone to monitor his practice and pay back clients.

If he does not successfully complete the probation, his license could be suspended for a year. Whipple gained a national reputation after successfully defending Cliven Bundy and served for one term as a Nevada System of Higher Education regent.

This is Whipple’s third discipline by the bar since 2016.

Whipple’s problems started after he uncovered more than $110,000 missing from client accounts, the August complaint alleged. An employee transferred the money to the operating account and then wrote to checks to himself worth about $80,000. The rest was spent by Whipple, who told the Review-Journal he didn’t know the employee transferred the money.

Whipple has been a major player in Nevada’s political and legal scene for more than two decades.

Contact Arthur Kane at akane@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ArthurMKane on Twitter.

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