Friday, February 29, 2008
An attorney who practiced in California was holding almost $2 million in escrow and distributed all but $100,000 in accordance with his obligations. The attorney was corporate counsel for Pulse-LINK, Inc. The withheld amount was used for the lawyer's own purposes. The corporation had sued the attorney and obtained a judgment.
The lawyer was disciplined in California but did not report the sanction to New York, where he also was admitted. When New York learned of the suspension, a reciprocal discipline proceeding was initiated. The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department deferred to California's sanction analysis because the misconduct had taken place there. California had the primary interest in determining sanction. The court imposed a two-year suspension (the actual period of the California suspension, which also required the attorney to make restitution) based on the California action. (Mike Frisch)