Friday, September 16, 2011

Worthy Of Disbarment

An attorney who had been suspended for two and a half years in Massachusetts was disbarred as reciprocal discipline by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.

The court concluded that the misconduct in two matters warranted greater discipline than imposed by the original disciplining court:

Respondent's misconduct in this matter is analogous to cases where this Court has found disbarment to be warranted. He fabricated stock certificates in order to support his false claim of ownership in his deceased's client's company, which claim he made to the courts, Bar Counsel, and to others. While there was no specific finding in the Massachusetts proceedings of "personal profit," the only conceivable purpose for such fabrication is personal gain. His misconduct constitutes an "egregious pattern[] of violations of legal and ethical obligations" (Lowell, 14 AD3d at 49), without any evidence of any mitigating circumstances (id. at 47 [major depressive disorder]). Respondent's entire handling of the decedent's estate, from the drafting of the will to his obstruction of the Special Administrator's handling of the estate, was permeated with misconduct, and his filing of frivolous lawsuits and refusal to obey court orders evidenced a pattern of disdain for the courts. Similar disregard was demonstrated by his behavior in the church matter in depositing the Church's rent checks and using the proceeds in knowing violation of a court order. We further note that respondent has been delinquent in paying his New York biennial registration fees since 2007. Thus, we depart from the Committee's recommendation of a five-year suspension and impose a sanction of disbarment.

(MIke Frisch)

 

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