Friday, June 29, 2018
An attorney has been suspended for one year and until further order by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department
The Attorney Grievance Committee commenced this disciplinary proceeding by a petition of charges dated March 29, 2018 (Judiciary Law § 90, Rules for Attorney Discipline Matters [22 NYCRR] § 1240.8), alleging that respondent was guilty of violating the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.00) rules 1.2(d), 1.7(a)(2) and 8.4(b) and (h) stemming from his purchase of heroin from a client on multiple occasions while representing him on a drug possession and sale case.
The Committee and respondent agree on the stipulated facts, including the misconduct itself and factors in mitigation, and on the discipline. The parties now jointly move pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.8(a)(5) for discipline on consent and request the imposition of a one-year suspension and that respondent participate in the Lawyer's Assistance Program for a period of one year, with both to run concurrently.
Respondent's misconduct and extensive disciplinary record are quite serious. However, in light of the significant factors in mitigation, including respondent's advanced age, cooperation with the Committee, acceptance of responsibility, expressions of remorse and the fact that he voluntarily met with the Lawyer's Assistance Program in September 2017 and tested negative for heroin, coupled with the fact that his misconduct appears to be linked to his lapse in sobriety, and that he had a long period of sobriety until his poor health resulted in such intense pain that he purchased drugs from his client, the Committee and respondent agree that a one-year suspension is appropriate.