Richard S. Lehman is Fighting for What’s Right
excerpt from the “Latin America Report” and Tim Padgett
. . . .The World Economic Forum ranks Panama 133rd out of 142 countries when it comes to the integrity of its courts.
Which is why South Florida millionaire Wilson Lucom probably never should have trusted them with his fortune. Even when – or especially when – he left the bulk of it to Panama’s poor children.
What has happened to Lucom’s will since he died in 2006 is a bewildering if not byzantine tale of legal intrigue that stretches from Panama City to Palm Beach County. Critics at home and abroad call it a stark illustration of Panama’s, and to a large degree Latin America’s, indifference to gaping wealth inequality and brazen judicial corruption – two factors that weigh down the region’s development like millstones.
Boca Raton tax attorney Richard Lehman was an executor of Lucom’s will, and he’s a central character in this Grisham-esque drama. “No one who has grown up in the American system, who believes in the law, can possibly be prepared for the lawlessness of Panama,” he says.
But the case may now be taking another important turn. “It’s not dead,” Lehman argues, “by any stretch of the imagination.”
Read this full article in the Latin American Report here: http://wlrn.org/post/how-panama-cut-poor-kids-out-florida-millionaires-will