December 27, 2011
A misdemeanor conviction has resulted in a public censure from the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.
Respondent's criminal conviction arose from an altercation with a taxi cab driver who refused to take respondent and his fiancee (now wife) from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn on Halloween night 2008. The disagreement ended when respondent kicked the driver in the head, knocking him to the ground causing injuries to his mouth, nose, head, face and body, which required medical treatment and surgery to the driver's face and mouth. Respondent was arrested at the scene.
As to sanction:
The assault committed by respondent was disturbing and violent. However, weighing the aberrational nature of the incident with the evidence in mitigation, which includes respondent's youth (he was 26-years-old at the time of the incident and had only been admitted to the bar for less than six months), his genuine remorse and acceptance of responsibility, the attestations as to his good character, his full cooperation with the Committee, and the fact that the misconduct did not occur in the practice of law, the sanction of censure is appropriate.
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Posted by: Attorney George E. Bourguignon, Jr. | Dec 27, 2011 7:38:54 PM