Thursday, April 18, 2013
An attorney who failed to prevent a paralegal's theft of entrusted funds was suspended for one year by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department:
...we have considered the respondent's remorse, her general reputation as an ethical and honest attorney, and the fact that she made full restitution to the client. However, the respondent admitted that, had she reviewed her accounts in a timely fashion, she could have uncovered the fact that the subject funds had been stolen by her paralegal. The respondent abdicated her responsibility in the most fundamental fashion—she made her paralegal a signatory to her attorney escrow account, she did not supervise or review the subject transaction, and she did not keep proper records, all of which the respondent conceded was wrong.
The attorney allowed the paralegal to be an authorized signatory on the escrow account in violation of a New York ethical rule. (Mike Frisch)