Friday, May 22, 2009
The New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department suspended two brothers for one year and until further court order but stayed the suspensions on completion of six credit hours in legal ethics and professionalism. The attorneys "may apply to terminate the suspensions after one year" on a showing that they have completed the CLE requirements set forth in the court's opinion.
The brothers were admitted in New York in 1961 and 1964. The referee had sustained charges of conversion of estate funds and distribution of advanced executors' commissions to themselves without court approval. The misconduct involved the administration of their uncle's estate and trusts created by his will. The court's opinion reflects findings that the attorneys had accelerated distribution of trust funds to themselves and a cousin, contrary to the express terms of the uncle's will. (Mike Frisch)