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Court Hears Case Regarding Professional Misconduct of Legal Counsel

The petition contains 10 charges of professional misconduct against the accused counsel. After a hearing, the Special Referee sustained all 10 charges. The Grievance Committee moved to confirm the Special Referee’s report. A New York Family Lawyer said in response to the Grievance Committee’s motion, the accused counsel submits that, although his misconduct adversely reflects upon his fitness to practice law, it does not rise to the level suggested by Grievance Counsel with respect to a final sanction. The accused requests that any further discipline be limited to a suspension of one year, retroactive to the date of his interim suspension.

As set forth in the petition, the accused counsel was on the Family Court Panel of the Assigned Counsel Plan for the Appellate Division, First Department between approximately 1980 and March 4, 1996. As an attorney on the panel, the accused was assigned to represent indigent clients in the Bronx County Family Court.

A New York Custody Lawyer said on or about October 1992, the accused was assigned to represent a client in a Family Court matter in Bronx. During several meetings with that client, in conference rooms at the Bronx County Family Court, the accused man addressed sexually suggestive remarks to the complainant, requesting all the time that she touch his penis.

He was also alleged to have engaged in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, in violation of Code of Professional Responsibility and conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law. There being no facts in dispute, the Special Referee properly sustained all 10 charges of the petition, and the Grievance Committee’s motion to confirm the report of the Special Referee is granted.

In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the court have considered the mitigating circumstances offered by the accused including the variety of charitable activities with which he has been involved, his cooperation with the Grievance Committee’s investigation, and his expressed remorse. However, the accused has engaged in a pattern of misconduct as opposed to an isolated act.

Moreover, a Nassau County Custody Lawyer said in two unrelated matters, the accused counsel was issued an admonition dated February 16, 1988, for submitting an affirmation of services in a Family Court paternity proceeding requesting that the complainant pay him $13,500 for which he had previously billed the Assigned Counsel Plan, and for retaining a clearly excessive fee in a criminal action in light of the limited services rendered prior to the defendant’s demise.

In light of his established pattern of violating his sworn duty to indigent clients whose rights he was assigned to safeguard, the accused counsel is guilty of multiple acts of professional misconduct which warrant his disbarment.

It is therefore ordered that the petitioner’s motion to confirm the report of the Special Referee is granted; and it is further ordered that pursuant to Judiciary Law, effective immediately, the accused counsel is disbarred and his name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law; and it is further, ordered that the accused counsel shall continue to comply with the Appellate court’s rules governing the conduct of disbarred, suspended, and resigned attorneys; and it is further ordered that pursuant to Judiciary Law, effective immediately, the accused counsel is commanded to continue to desist and refrain from practicing law in any form, either as principal or as agent, clerk, or employee of another. A Nassau County Custody Lawyer said he must also refrain from appearing as an attorney or counselor-at-law before any court, Judge, Justice, board, commission, or other public authority. He is not allowed to give to another an opinion as to the law or its application or any advice in relation thereto, and he should refrain from holding himself out in any way as an attorney and counselor-at-law.

Our homes and workplace should be free from people who take advantage of women and children. If you want to help a family member in a legal dispute, consult the Bronx County Family Lawyer together with the Bronx County Domestic Violence Attorney. Stephen Bilkis and Associates can also provide you with the Bronx County Order of Protection Attorney.

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