Big time lawyers about to do time: A cautionary tale or irrelevant to most of us?

The WSJ Law Blog has an interesting post about Bill Lerach who is about to head off to prison. The WSJ post makes reference to an article by Ross Todd of the American Lawyer about what Lerach, Dickie Scruggs and Mel Weiss can expect prison life to be like.

Three questions:

1. How can it be that such wealthy and successful lawyers end up cheating? Is that how they became successful or is it just something they did after being around so much money and presumably pressure of some sort for so long? Mind boggling.

2. How many other prominent, rich (presumably beyond belief) lawyers have done or do similar things, that is similar to what Lerach, Scruggs and Weiss are going to prison for?

3. Did any lawyers (or judges) know or strongly suspect what these guys were up to and keep their mouths shut?  If any did, shame on them.   They were/are complicit and deserve the same punishment.