April 17, 2012
An Adverse Inference
An attorney who is the subject of a series of complaints regarding entrusted funds has been suspended pending further proceedings by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.
The attorney had asserted Fifth Amendment rights in response to a subpoena:
Although an attorney cannot be suspended on an interim basis solely for asserting his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, he cannot assert such a right merely to avoid production of records or documents which an attorney is required to maintain pursuant to the New York Rules of Professional Conduct...Further, this Court has held that an adverse inference may be drawn from a respondent's invocation of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and there is no reason not to draw such an inference here. (citations omitted)
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