Wednesday, October 30, 2013

No Cogent Explanation

Am Law Daily's Sara Randazzo has a story of a suspension imposed on a former Sidley Austin partner by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department.

The misconduct:

In 1986, respondent joined a New York law firm as a partner. In or about January 2008, the law firm confronted respondent regarding car service rides taken by respondent and members of his immediate family which respondent improperly charged to firm clients. Respondent resigned from the firm the cost of reimbursing the affected clients was charged to his capital account (approximately $50,000). The firm also informed respondent that it intended to report him to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee (Committee) unless he reported himself, which respondent did...

While respondent has practiced law for 45 years without a prior disciplinary problem, as the Referee observed, "[t]he reason a successful attorney resorted to such continual unethical conduct has not been really explained. Respondent's testimony suggesting that it was carelessness explains neither why he first left the vouchers blank and, then, having to complete the allocation forms, classified them as client charge rather than personal. The testimony offered by his therapist and capsulated in his letter report does not provide a cogent explanation for his patient's admittedly dishonest actions."

The court ordered a one-year suspension.

Was he sharing cab rides with another former partner who faces ethics charges in Illinois for allegedly fabricating taxi receipts? (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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