Thursday, December 1, 2016
Felony drunk driving leads to automatic disbarment while felony wire fraud does not, according to a decision of the New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department
As relevant herein, "[a]n attorney convicted of a felony in [a foreign jurisdiction that is] essentially similar to a New York felony is automatically disbarred" (Matter of Park, 95 AD3d 1648, 1648 ; see Judiciary Law § 90  [a], [e]). While we do not find that respondent's federal felony convictions of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud meet this standard under the circumstances herein (see Matter of Mueller, 129 AD3d 1293, 1294 ), we are persuaded that respondent's 2011 felony DWI conviction in Connecticut is essentially similar to the New York felony of DWI in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192 (2) and (3) and § 1193 (1) (c). Similar to those New York statutes, the elements of Connecticut General Statutes § 14- 227a include the requirements of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content of .08% or more by weight of alcohol. Moreover, Connecticut and New York law both elevate such a conviction to a felony where there has been a previous DWI conviction within the past 10 years.