November 26, 2012
The New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department has imposed a two-year suspension as reciprocal discipline based on a sanction imposed in California.
The court noted the attorney's contentions:
By letter dated February 8, 2012, the respondent explained that, in 2002, "I agreed to an active suspension of my California Bar (sic) for two years. Never was this intended to be used as a sword to pierce my ability to earn money. I am very proud of my legal license and will fight to protect my name and reputation." He added that, at the time in question, "I was the most vulnerable that I have ever been." According to the respondent, his then-wife and oldest child were continually hospitalized with life-threatening illnesses. The respondent alleged that he was "unprepared and unable emotionally to fight." The respondent thereafter complied with the California State Bar requirements for reinstatement of his license and passed the professional responsibility test in the spring of 2004. However, he asserted that he "didn't reinstate" his license in California because he no longer lived there.
The respondent learned of New York's interest in the California proceedings in or about 2007 and again last Fall. In his letter dated February 8, 2012, he requested an adjournment or extension of time to secure counsel, stating that, in his opinion, it would be neither fair nor equitable for New York to pursue this matter any further.
The court did not permit relitigation of the California findings. (Mike Frisch)
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