Lawyers Battle Addiction And Depression, Too. Now They’re Starting To Talk About It

By Alex Harris
Miami Herald

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Attorney Brian Cuban, author of the book, “The Addicted Lawyer,’ shared his journey through addiction, depression, bulimia and, finally in 2007, recovery at a Cuban American Bar Association panel on mental illness in the legal community

MIAMI

It was 2006, and the Miami Heat was squaring off against the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA finals.

As the younger brother of the Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban, Dallas-based lawyer Brian Cuban not only had great seats for himself but two extras to share with his friends. But he didn’t give them to his friends. He gave them to his drug dealer for $1,000 of cocaine.

“Selling them on eBay was disrespectful to my family, but trading them to my cocaine dealer was fine,” Cuban said to a roomful of Miami lawyers on Friday. “How the mind works on addiction.”

Cuban recounted this tale, and the night’s conclusion (he poured the coke out on his desk, “Scarface style”, before hiding it in fake electrical outlets he carved into every closet in his apartment, eventually flushing it all down the toilet) at a Cuban American Bar Association panel on mental illness in the legal community.

CABA president Javier Lopez invited Cuban, author of the book, “The Addicted Lawyer,” to share his journey through addiction, depression, bulimia and, finally in 2007, recovery.

“I wanted to do something different this year,” Lopez said. “This is an important issue we can’t ignore.”

Lawyers have the fourth-most suicides by profession, after dentists, pharmacists and doctors, according to the most-recent numbers by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This summer, two prominent South Florida lawyers took their own lives.

Family and colleagues were stunned when newly hired Miami prosecutor Beranton J. Whisenant Jr., washed up on Hollywood Beach with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in May. He is remembered for his passion and dedication to public service.

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