Thursday, August 25, 2011
An attorney who had voluntarily surrendered from the Arkansas Bar was disbarred by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department for the following misconduct:
...Respondent acknowledges in his affidavit submitted herein that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against charges that he violated Rule 1.7(a) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct in connection with a corporate investment transaction where he sought to represent both the buyer and seller ( "A lawyer shall not represent a client if a reasonable lawyer would conclude that the representation will involve the lawyer in representing differing interests"). Although he obtained a waiver of his conflict of interest from the seller, he did so after he requested that the seller keep its corporate attorney out of the negotiation process and he deal only with the corporate officers. Additionally, respondent obtained two "loans" from the seller for himself to cover transaction expenses. However, he did not place the funds into a trust or escrow account until such funds were actually used for the stated purpose, nor did respondent inform his law firm of his receipt of these funds, in violation of Rule 1.15(b), which requires an attorney to maintain funds in an attorney trust account or attorney escrow account.
Finally, respondent acknowledges that he could not successfully defend himself against charges that he violated Rule 8.4(c) of the New York Rules of Processional Conduct ("A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation") when he repeatedly made promises and false representations to the Arkansas Arts Center in connection with $500,000 in pledged funds.
Additional information is linked here from the Arkansas Times. (Mike Frisch)