Wednesday, April 30, 2014
An attorney who had engaged in a "side practice" forbidden by his law firm policies and failed to report the income for tax purposes was suspended for nine months by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.
In August 2012, the Departmental Disciplinary Committee (Committee) charged respondent with, inter alia, maintaining a side law practice for approximately 11 years without his law firm's knowledge and in contravention of firm policy...Respondent was also charged with failing to declare the income earned from his side law practice to federal and New York tax authorities...
The attorney admitted the allegations.
As to sanction
The findings of liability, which are amply supported by the record, are not challenged by respondent and are hereby confirmed. Respondent was not the subject of criminal or tax collection proceedings and took the initiative to resolve his tax liability (albeit after he became the subject of a Committee investigation). In addition, respondent's misconduct is mitigated by an unblemished disciplinary record over his 24-year career, his full cooperation with the Committee's investigation, expressions of remorse, and pro bono legal work. We find, under the circumstances, that a ninemonth suspension is warranted.