Friday, October 26, 2007
An attorney who had practiced law for 37 without incident pleaded guilty to a one-count misdemeanor of employing an individual to illegally solicit clients. The "misconduct occurred during a five-month period of time" and involved payments of $800 for the narrative medical report of any patient referred by a clinic if he accepted the clinic patient as a client. He was drawn into a larger investigation of fraud by the clinic, but there was no evidence that he was a participant in any fraud.
After a hearing, it was determined that "the $800 paid for each report was the 'market price' for such reports at the time" and that the lawyer '"vigorously vetted the bona fides of each of the potential client's claims before accepting the case...," that he had carefully monitered each case to prevent improper billing, promptly reported the conviction and expressed sincere remorse. He also had "essentially stopped practicing law until the conclusion of [the bar disciplinary] proceedings." Thus, the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department imposed a public censure. (Mike Frisch)