Monday, March 1, 2010
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department imposed a public censure in a matter where the attorney had forged and caused to be notarized a document purportedly signed by a client. The court found significant mitigation:
In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the Grievance Committee notes that the respondent has no prior disciplinary history and has accepted full responsibility for his actions. The respondent submits that his actions were the result of a rare combination of circumstances, including the demands of an allegedly unreasonable client and his own personal health issues. The respondent has submitted letters from Isaac Cohen, M.D., his orthopedist, and Itzhak C. Haimovic, M.D., his neurologist, confirming his diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease. In addition, he has submitted letters from seven professional colleagues, including his law partner, attesting to his integrity and excellent reputation.
Balancing the respondent's lapse of judgment with his previously unblemished record, we conclude that a public censure is the appropriate discipline to impose in this case. (citation omitted)