Friday, May 21, 2010
The New York Appellate Division recalled a decision that had disbarred an attorney as a result of his resignation while a bar complaint was pending. The court determined that resignation should not have been accepted.
The attorney had been convicted of theft offenses that resulted in automatic disbarment based on the conviction:
On February 23, 2010, this Court accepted the respondent's resignation and disbarred him immediately, based on his admitted inability to defend himself against pending complaints alleging that he had breached his fiduciary duty by failing to account for funds entrusted to him. By that time, however, the respondent had already been automatically disbarred due to his conviction of a felony, and was no longer an attorney by operation of law.
Accordingly, the opinion and order of this Court dated February 23, 2010, must be recalled and vacated, inasmuch as the respondent was no longer able to proffer a resignation at that time. The motion of the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District to strike the respondent's name from the roll of attorneys is granted to reflect his automatic disbarment as of January 14, 2010, the date of his conviction of a felony.