Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department has imposed a censure of an attorney who was convicted of two driving while impaired offenses.
The court on sanction:
In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, we note that the respondent has successfully participated in alcohol counseling. Moreover, with the exception of a Letter of Caution issued in December 2007 related to his 2006 conviction, the respondent has no prior disciplinary history in 38 years of practice.
Under the totality of circumstances, including the positive impression of the respondent noted by the Special Referee, the respondent is censured for his professional misconduct.
The court censured another attorney for cocaine possession:
In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, we note that the respondent has successfully participated in, and completed, a substance abuse program, tested negative for alcohol or drugs during his participation in same, fully complied with the requests of the Grievance Committee, and successfully completed the terms of his one year conditional discharge. However, we note that the respondent was publicly censured by opinion and order of this Court dated May 8, 2007, as a result of his one year suspension in Connecticut and that, prior to his public censure, the respondent received a Letter of Caution dated March 4, 2003, based upon his involvement in a sexual relationship with a client in a matrimonial action immediately upon the finalization of her divorce, which "raised questions about the independence of [the respondent's] professional judgment during the course [of his] prior representation" and was, at a minimum, "imprudent and unprofessional."
Under the totality of circumstances, including the likelihood that said discipline resulted from the respondent's prolonged substance abuse, and the absence of any specific client harm in the instant case, the respondent is censured for his professional misconduct.