Thursday, December 28, 2017
The New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department censured an attorney who interfered with a representation
These violations arose from respondent's interference with an attorney's representation of a child in a custodial matter. Respondent's own client was involved in the aforementioned custodial matter with her then husband in Supreme Court. Subsequently, respondent was retained by his client to represent her in an unrelated civil matter against her then husband. At some point after he was retained, respondent notified the court ordered attorney for the client's child (hereinafter the AFC) in the custodial matter that he represented both his client and her child in a civil matter against his client's husband, and that he would not allow the child to attend a scheduled meeting with the AFC, nor would he allow any further meetings.
The AFC complained to the Supreme Court
Supreme Court ultimately found respondent in contempt and ordered him to pay a $5,000 sanction to the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection within 60 days. Respondent failed to comply with that order, despite multiple directives by Supreme Court to do so. Supreme Court then determined that respondent had willfully violated its order and imposed an additional $500 sanction along with a 15-day jail sentence. Following his unsuccessful appeal and denial of his motion to stay enforcement before this Court, respondent appeared before Supreme Court and was remanded to county jail, which finally prompted him to discharge the sanctions levied against him.
Taking note of the magnitude of respondent's misconduct, lack of a disciplinary record and his expressed remorse, we find that public censure is an appropriate sanction and consistent with our prior precedent.
Details here in the appeal of the contempt. (Mike Frisch)