Friday, February 24, 2012
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department has imposed a suspension of two years of an attorney who failed to properly handle supervise the operation of his law firm's escrow account.
The court found that the sanction determination was influenced by the following:
In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the Court notes the respondent's testimony as to the negative impact the conduct of his bookkeeper and brother, Anthony Galasso, has had on his personal and professional life; the changes he has made with respect to his business practices; his cooperation in connection with the criminal prosecution of his bookkeeper and brother, Anthony Galasso; and his pursuit of lawsuits against, among others, Signature Bank, in an effort to reclaim the misappropriated Baron funds, as well as the funds misappropriated from the Estate and from Adele Fabrizio. In addition, the Court considered the 37 letters of good character submitted on the respondent's behalf. However, we find that the respondent failed to maintain appropriate vigilance over his firm's bank accounts, resulting in actual and substantial harm to clients.