Thursday, December 8, 2022

Wine Windfall Draws Reciprocal Sanction

Reciprocal discipline has been imposed by the New York Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department for a Massachusetts sanction

it was determined that, after personally purchasing a quantity of wine for a continuing legal education (hereinafter CLE) presentation he had organized, respondent thereafter obtained reimbursement for the full purchase price from both the CLE sponsor and his then-employer, a law firm, resulting in a windfall to respondent in the amount of $1,952.85.

Identical discipline is not obligatory but was ordered here

While AGC seeks to have respondent's admittedly dishonest conduct be considered an aggravating factor, respondent notes that he did not act with dishonest intent, but rather that his actions were a result of distractions due to personal and health issues (see ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions standards 9.22 [c]). Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rule 8.4 (c) defines "conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation" as misconduct but, "[n]onetheless, evidence that an attorney has not acted with venality or dishonesty can appropriately be considered a factor in mitigation"

Thus

we conclude that a term of suspension is appropriate and that respondent should be suspended from the practice of law for one year and one day. Furthermore, we condition any future application by respondent for his reinstatement in this state upon proof that he has been fully reinstated to the practice of law in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts had suspended the attorney for a year and a day. (Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2022/12/reciprocal-discipline-has-been-imposed-by-the-new-york-appellate-division-for-the-third-judicial-department-for-a-massachuset.html

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