Friday, December 31, 2010

Long Time Coming

An attorney admitted in 1961 and disbarred in 1981has been reinstated by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department. The court tells the story in following paragraph:

Motion by the respondent...for reinstatement as an attorney and counselor-at-law. The respondent was admitted to the Bar at a term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department on March 29, 1961. By opinion and order of this Court dated April 20, 1981, the respondent was disbarred from the practice of law. By decision and order on motion of this Court dated June 14, 1991, the respondent's motion for reinstatement was denied. By decision and order on motion of this Court dated October 28, 1991, the respondent's motion for reargument of his prior motion for reinstatement or for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals from the order dated April 20, 1981, was denied. The respondent's second, third, fourth, and fifth motions for reinstatement were denied by orders of this Court dated October 11, 1994, February 13, 1997, April 20, 1999, and January 8, 2004, respectively. By decision and order on motion of this Court dated March 26, 2010, the respondent's motion for reinstatement was held in abeyance and the matter was referred to the Committee on Character and Fitness to investigate and report on his fitness to practice law.

The court concluded that present fitness was established after the committee report was received.  (Mike Frisch)

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If the issue all along has been the applicant's character and fitness, then why were each of his prior applications not referred to the Committee? And having not referred the matter to the Committee, how could the Court be sure that he was then unfit to practice law? If the lawyer has a duty to demonstrate his fitness, then surely he should be given an opportunity to do so? Unless, of course, the entire proceeding is really a sham and the Court already knows exactly what resolution it intends and the rest of it is just a bogus procedure intended to legitimise that result.

Have a happy new year everyone!


Posted by: FixedWing | Dec 31, 2010 11:27:24 AM

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