Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department imposed the reciprocal discipline of disbarment based on the attorney's New Jersey consent to disbarment. The court rejected the following plea:
...the respondent submitted a statement, in which he contended that the imposition of discipline in New York based on the harsh conclusion of the New Jersey court would be unjust. The respondent is 75 years of age and in declining health. He alleges that the issues leading to his disbarment arose since he was the victim of a scam by a client. He claims that he was compelled to transfer funds from his client's trust account to a secondary trust account of that client. The respondent further contends that, as a result of that transfer, the New Jersey Ethics Committee determined that the respondent had acted improperly, and recommended his disbarment.
As to the merits:
Notwithstanding his own expressed belief that his actions in New Jersey were not harmful to any clients, the respondent attested in his "Disbarment by Consent" in New Jersey that the allegations that he had knowingly misappropriated client trust funds/escrow funds were true, and that he could not successfully defend himself against them. Accordingly, the respondent is disbarred in New York based on his disbarment in New Jersey.