September 19, 2008
An attorney who had facilitated the unauthorized`practice of a disbarred lawyer and made a misrepresentation was disbarred by the New York Appellate Division for the Second judicial Department, notwithstanding evidence in mitigation of sanction:
The respondent asks the Court to consider his remorse and contrition for the mistakes he admittedly made and "for issues that should have been handled differently and more appropriately." In addition, the respondent has presented numerous character letters from professional colleagues and long-time associates attesting to his competence and integrity, as well as one from his wife detailing the respondent's charitable and trusting nature, her own distrust of Pugach[the disbarred lawyer], and the hardships which the family would endure if he were to lose his license to practice law.
Notwithstanding the mitigation advanced and the character evidence submitted, the record reveals that the respondent afforded so little regard to his law license as to allow a disbarred felon to use his name freely on court papers and to advertise himself as his paralegal. In addition, the respondent knowingly made a misrepresentation to this Court during the course of oral argument. Under the circumstances, the respondent is disbarred. We note that the letter dated April 7, 2008, submitted to the Court by Pugach, which has elicited objections from both the Grievance Committee and the respondent, has not been considered in this proceeding.
The misrepresentation to the court was a statement that the representation was`pro bono when the attorney had been paid $1,000. (Mike Frisch)
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