June 8, 2011
Question Of The Day
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department has imposed a public censure for an attorney's convictions for driving and related offenses. The court sustained findings of misconduct based on the following:
Charge two alleges that the respondent is guilty of engaging in illegal conduct that adversely reflects on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in that he was convicted of a crime within the meaning of Judiciary Law § 90(2), in violation of rule 8.4(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (see 22 NYCRR 1200.0).
Specifically, on November 19, 2009, the respondent also pleaded guilty before Judge Spergel in the District Court, Nassau County, to the crime of aggravated driving while intoxicated, in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(2-a), and operating a motor vehicle without being restrained by a safety belt, in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1229-c(3), an infraction.
On November 19, 2009, the respondent admitted before Judge Spergel that, on January 19, 2009, he consumed alcohol, became intoxicated, and operated a motor vehicle westbound on the Wantagh State Parkway, without wearing a seatbelt.
On February 10, 2010, the respondent was sentenced to a $1,000 fine for aggravated driving while intoxicated, revocation of his driver's license, and three years' probation with conditions imposed pursuant to the RAPP, to run concurrently with other probationary conditions, a $100 fine for operating a motor vehicle without being restrained by a safety belt, a surcharge of $165, and a CVAF charge of $20.
Is it really an ethical violation not to wear a seatbelt?
The case is Matter of Piken, decided May 31, 2011. (Mike Frisch)
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