Wednesday, January 2, 2008
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department reinstated an attorney disbarred in 1998 for misconduct over a 13 year period: "on approximately 15 to 20 occasions he paid bribes to middlemen who in turn paid corrupt insurance company adjusters in order to expedite their handling of his clients' personal injury matters under review by the insurance companies.His conduct...was indefensible in a member of the bar." The court majority found the conduct "aberrational" notwithstanding the number of instances and the extended period of time.
A dissent would not reinstate. Noting that the attorney pleaded guilty to a serious federal conspiracy charge and his "insistence that there were no victims as a result of his criminal conduct", the dissent also rejects the idea that the reinstated attorney's "assertion that he has no intention of recommencing the practice of law is a 'fact that militates in favor of... his reinstatement.' " (Mike Frisch)