Friday, October 8, 2010
A criminal conviction for possession of a handgun (misdemeanor) does not involve a "serious crime" and merited a public censure, according to the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department. The attorney had a record of prior discipline:
In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the Grievance Committee points out that the respondent's disciplinary history consists of a Letter of Caution dated January 15, 1999, for failing to re-register with the Office of Court Administration, and a Letter of Caution dated October 22, 1999, for his carelessness with documents entrusted to him by a client and his failure to maintain required records of the criminal defense he claimed to have provided to the complainant. The respondent was also issued an Admonition dated May 30, 2007, for engaging in an improper use of his escrow account, which he essentially used as an operating account. The Grievance Committee directed the respondent to ensure that his escrow account is used exclusively to safeguard client funds and to refrain from commingling any personal funds in that account. None of those matters involved misconduct similar to that involved in the instant case.
In view of his conviction of a class A misdemeanor, which was not deemed to constitute a serious crime within the meaning of 22 NYCRR 691.7(b) or Judiciary Law § 90(4)(d), the respondent is publicly censured.