Thursday, December 3, 2020

Serious Crime Draws Interim Suspension

An interim suspension of an attorney convicted of a tax offense has been ordered by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department

With respect to an immediate suspension, Judiciary Law § 90(4)(f) provides that upon receipt of a record indicating that an attorney has been convicted of a "serious crime," this Court will suspend the attorney until a final order is issued, and under 22 NYCRR 1240.12(c)(2)(ii), [*3]once a "serious crime" determination has been made, "the Court may suspend the respondent pending final disposition unless such a suspension would be inconsistent with the maintenance of the integrity and honor of the profession, the protection of the public and the interest of justice..."

We have consistently held that it is appropriate to suspend an attorney, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(f), who has been convicted of a felony, during the pendency of a "serious crime" proceeding and until a final order is issued (see Matter of Lindenbaum, 165 AD3d at 55-56; Matter of Freedman, 109 AD3d 151, 153 [1st Dept 2013]. Specifically, we have suspended attorneys convicted of tax evasion under 26 USC § 7201 and are serving a term of probation or imprisonment (see Matter of Shapiro, 81 AD3d at 27; Matter of Ruble, 66 AD3d at 49).

(Mike Frisch)

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