April 25, 2012
Unauthorized Communication, Conflict, Results In Suspension
The New York Appellate Division for the Fourth Judicial Department has suspended an attorney for six months and until further court order.
The attorney represented a client charged with offenses arising from a domestic dispute. The alleged victim also faced criminal charges from the same incident and was represented by counsel.
The attorney met with his client and the alleged victim without notice to opposing counsel. They told the attorney that they wished to live together in spite of orders of protection. He met with them several times and drafted affidavits for each of them to the effect that they were living together and wished to marry.
The affidavits were submitted to the prosecutor, who raised ethical concerns to the judge. The attorney then withdrew from the case.
The court found that the attorney had engaged in a conflict of interest and had communicated with a represented party.
The court considered the attorney's extensive disciplinary record of a letter of admonition, five letters of caution and a prior suspension for serious misconduct. (Mike Frisch)
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