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New York Legal Ethics Case Histories

Among the dozens of publicly reported attorney disciplinary cases handled by Richard E. Grayson are the following.  Note that cases that result solely in letters of caution or admonition issued by a grievance committee are not publicly reported and are confidential under Judiciary Law Section 90.

Matter of Kim, 2016 WL 380498 (February 2, 2016): Attorney was suspended in New Jersey for escrow account violations but the Appellate Division, First Department, decided this was a "rare" instance where reciprocal discipline was not appropriate and the attorney received a public censure.

Matter of Polow, 117 A.D.3d 19 (2014): Attorney served with eight charges dealing with escrow violations and neglect. The Appellate Division sustained seven charges and censured the attorney.

Matter of Soto, 119 A.D.3d 8 (2014): Attorney pled guilty to violating Election Law Section 17-108 (2), a misdemeanor, for voting outside his election district. There is no other reported case of any attorney being criminally charged for violating this section. The Appellate Division censured the attorney.

Matter of Terc, 120 A.D.3d 4 (2014): Attorney charged with aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law and failing to safeguard funds. The Appellate Division sustained the charges and censured the attorney.

Matter of Feeney, 2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 05787 (2014): Attorney pled guilty to reckless endangerment in the second degree, a misdemeanor, after being charged with assault in the third degree and strangulation in the second degree. The Appellate Division censured the attorney.

Matter of Wallace, 2013 N.Y. Slip Op. 06701, 972 NYS2d 905 (2013): Attorney was served with 13 charges alleging escrow violations. Although all 13 charges were sustained by the Appellate Division, the attorney received a censure.

Matter of Anonymous (2011): Attorney pleaded guilty in another state to misdemeanor battery. The conviction was eventually expunged. He was publicly disciplined in that other state. The grievance committee in New York moved for an order imposing reciprocal discipline. The Appellate Division denied the grievance committee's motion, refused to publicly discipline the attorney and instead, remanded the matter to the grievance committee for the imposition of a confidential letter of admonition. This matter is unreported since it is confidential under Judiciary Law Section 90 since it resulted in a private letter.

Matter of Grossman, 91 A.D.3d 156 (2011): Attorney served with 13 charges of aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law. Although all 13 charges were sustained by the Appellate Division, the attorney received a censure.

Matter of Shin, 82 A.D.3d 81 (2011): Lawyer suspended for one year by the United States District Court and by the United States Bankruptcy Court and fined $40,000 by the Bankruptcy Court received a censure from the Appellate Division, Second Department.

Matter of Anonymous (2010): Although this case resulted in a disciplinary proceeding, it is unreported since it is confidential under Judiciary Law Section 90. The Appellate Division, after trial, dismissed all the charges against the attorney. The attorney had been charged in connection with a multi-million dollar bank fraud case. All the other attorneys in the firm were publicly disciplined and one attorney was sent to prison.

Matter of Telemaque, 30 A.D.3d 82 (2006): Attorney censured by Appellate Division for numerous violations of escrow rules.

Matter of Leff, 20 AD3d 96, 795 NYS2d 679 (2005): Attorney suspended by Appellate Division for one year (with leave to move for reinstatement six months early) for escrow violations, neglect, and failing to cooperate with grievance committees.

Matter of Carusona, 304 A.D.2d 200 (2003): Attorney censured by Appellate Division for numerous escrow violations.

Matter of Anonymous (2002): Although this case resulted in a disciplinary proceeding, it is unreported since it is confidential under Judiciary Law Section 90. The Appellate Division, after trial, refused to discipline the attorney and instead referred the matter back to the grievance committee. The attorney was charged with failing to cooperate with the grievance committee's investigation and with failing to re-register and pay the OCA fees. However, it turned out that the OCA had computer problems and had incorrectly reported to the grievance committee that the attorney failed to pay his registration fees. The attorney ended up receiving a private letter of admonition from the grievance committee.

Matter of Pacchiana, 231 A.D.2d 123, 658 N.Y.S.2d 666 (1997): Attorney censured by Appellate Division for failure to file tax return and for conduct adversely reflecting on fitness to practice law.

Matter of Drager, 221 A.D.2d 64, 643 N.Y.S.2d 1015 (1996): Attorney censured by Appellate Division for neglect, conduct adversely reflecting on fitness to practice law, conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, and failure to cooperate with the grievance committee.

Matter of Kirschner, 195 A.D.2d 102, 606 N.Y.S.2d 324 (1994): Attorney censured by Appellate Division for self-dealing in investments and for failure to notify client.

Matter of Greene, 54 N.Y.2d 118 (1981): Attorney found guilty of improper advertising by Appellate Division (78 AD2d 131) and decision upheld by the Court of Appeals.

Law Offices of Richard E. Grayson
New York Ethics & Professional Responsibility Litigation Attorney
202 Mamaroneck Avenue
Third Floor
White Plains, NY 10601
Phone: 914.682.0037
Fax: 914.684.0646
Email

The Law Offices of Richard E. Grayson represents lawyers and judges against charges of professional misconduct or ethics violations, and counsels bar applicants and attorneys about ethical issues.  The firm serves attorneys and judges in the First and Second Departments and throughout New York State.

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