Thursday, November 15, 2007
The New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department considered the question of reciprocal discipline in a matter where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit suspended an attorney for 18 months "for conduct unbecoming a member of the bar for, among other things, failing to comply with [Ninth Circuit] rules." Without setting forth the circumstances it considered, the court determined that the "appropriate measure of discipline" was a censure.
I am less troubled by this action than recent reciprocal cases we have posted because discipline from federal courts is often summary and harsh. It is a different matter to be suspended by a state high court, which is a far greater restriction on practice than an order from a federal court. However, it would have been helpful here for the court to explain its result. (Mike Frisch)