Thursday, April 11, 2013
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department has imposed a public censure of an attorney who made a false statement in an e-mail:
The facts are undisputed. In approximately 2009, respondent became employed by UtiliSave LLC, initially to collect its accounts receivables and then as general counsel. In February 2010, UtiliSave hired Christopher O'Dea as a salesman but by July 2010, he resigned and respondent was assigned to all matters related to O'Dea's departure. According to respondent, O'Dea was contacting people at UtiliSave telling them he was owed money, and both the vice president and CEO of the company were afraid that O'Dea would cause them physical harm. When respondent spoke with someone at the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office about O'Dea, that person told him to call 911 if he believed there was a threat, but respondent decided against it because he didn't want O'Dea to be arrested.
Instead, on or about August 21, 2010, respondent sent an email to O'Dea that included this language:
"You are on notice that I have filed an injunction with the District Attorney's office against you. Any further communications from you including a response to this or any previous email, letter, or other correspondence will be deemed to be in contempt of this injunction and you will subject yourself to contempt of court citations or worse."O'Dea reported respondent to the Committee.
Respondent testified that his only purpose for sending the email was to discourage O'Dea from contacting UtiliSave or any of its employees, and not to cause O'Dea any harm. Respondent described his conduct as "stupidity" committed due to a "lack of knowledge," admitting that the false email should never have been written, that it was a terrible mistake and that he had no defense for his actions...
The attorney had previously been censured for assaulkting a taxi driver. (Mike Frisch)