Friday, December 5, 2008

Court Clerk Censured

The Chief Clerk of the King's County Surrogate's Court was censured by the New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department. After a rule had been enacted limiting fee payments to 6% of an estate, the clerk had routinely approved fee petitions in the amount of 8%. The court notes that "[s]omewhat disconcertingly" he professed to be unaware of the 1993 enactment of the fee limitation, which had been enacted to address abuses in fee payments. The court also rejected the argument that, because the clerk position did not require him to be an attorney, professional standards for lawyers were inapplicable.

The misconduct related to two orders of discipline that we had posted yesterday. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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A clerk acts in a ministerial roll. This latest decision appears to hold that the clerk has some higher responsibility.

Of all of these opinions, only the original Court of Appeals opinion addresses the issue of “legal error” verses “judicial misconduct” and even then, only superficially. Yet this really is the most important issue here.

I think the real crime here is embarrassing the courts.


Posted by: FixedWing | Dec 5, 2008 5:56:58 AM

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