The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cannella, District Judge.
Defendants' motions to dismiss are granted. Fed.R.Civ.P.
Plaintiff, an attorney appearing pro se, brings the instant
action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking damages and
various forms of declaratory and injunctive relief for alleged
violations of his constitutional rights. In addition, plaintiff
seeks damages and injunctive relief for various state common
law and statutory violations. Plaintiff's allegations all arise
from attorney disciplinary proceedings which occurred between
1973 and 1975. Plaintiff has also filed a Supplemental
Complaint which apparently involves events occurring after
Defendants Association of the Bar of the City of New York
["Association of the Bar"], John Bonomi, former General Counsel
to the Committee on Grievances of the Association of the Bar,
Robert McGuire, Patrick Wall, Adlai Hardin, Jr., Joseph W.
Bellacosa, Richard W. Wallach, Stephen Kaye, Jeffrey K. Brinck,
Alvin Schulman, Seth Rosner, Jonathan H. Churchill, William J.
Manning, Meredith M. Brown, Robert D. Sack, and Fredrick C.
Carver, former members of the Committee on Professional Ethics
of the Association of the Bar [the "Ethics Committee"], and
Stanley Arkin, William Hellerstein, Powell Pierpont, Martin
Fogelman, Robert McGuire, Eleanor Piel, Patrick Wall and Nina
Cameron, former members of the Committee on Grievances of the
Association of the Bar [the "Grievance Committee"] [all of the
aforementioned defendants collectively referred to as the "Bar
Association defendants"], now move to dismiss on the following
grounds: (1) plaintiff's claims are barred by the applicable
statutes of limitation; (2) the defendants are protected from
all of plaintiff's claims for damages by absolute immunity; (3)
plaintiff has failed to state facts which constitute a claim
under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 or under any of the state law claims
alleged; and (4) plaintiff's complaint violates the pleading
requirements of Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
In addition, defendants Appellate Division of the Supreme
Court of the State of New York, First Department ["First
Department"], Hon. Francis T. Murphy, Presiding Justice,
Michael Gentile and Harold J. Reynolds [collectively, the
"State defendants"] move to dismiss the complaint on the
grounds that, inter alia, plaintiff's claims for declaratory
relief are barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
State defendants also move, on various grounds, to dismiss
plaintiff's Supplemental Complaint. Finally, defendants the
Florida Bar, Norman Faulkner and E. Earle Zehmer [the "Florida
Bar defendants"] move to dismiss, inter alia, on the ground
that the Court lacks personal jurisdiction.
In 1965 plaintiff organized Attorneys' Research, Inc.
["Research, Inc."], a business designed to provide legal
research to attorneys in all jurisdictions. Complaint, ¶ 4.
Plaintiff advertised Research, Inc. in the New York Law Journal
and, in addition, mailed advertisements directly to attorneys.
Complaint, ¶¶ 10, 11.
In September 1965, the Association of the Bar received a
complaint about Research, Inc. from the Hawaiian Bar
Association. Complaint, ¶ 5. At the suggestion of the Executive
Director of the Association of the Bar, plaintiff submitted the
question of the propriety of the activity of Research, Inc. to
the Association's Ethics Committee for an opinion. On March 22,
1966, the Ethics Committee sent plaintiff an opinion letter
stating that while it was not improper for Research, Inc. to
perform legal research as long as it was for other attorneys,
the company's advertising brochure did not in all respects
comply with the requirements of the Canons of Professional
Ethics concerning advertising. Complaint, ¶ 7.
In April 1972, defendant John Bonomi, then Chief Counsel to
the Grievance Committee, received another complaint concerning
advertising by Research, Inc. from an American lawyer living in
London. Complaint, ¶ 17. Bonomi referred the matter to the
Ethics Committee, asking for an opinion on the propriety of
plaintiff's advertising. In March 1973, the Ethics Committee
sent Bonomi an opinion letter [the "Ethics Opinion"] which
concluded that plaintiff had violated certain provisions of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and that the activities of
Research, Inc. may constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
Complaint, ¶ 21. After receiving the Ethics Opinion, Bonomi
issued an admonitory letter to plaintiff dated November 7,
1973. Complaint, ¶ 34. The admonitory letter notified plaintiff
of the complaint by the attorney in London and advised
plaintiff that his solicitation letters and the New York Law
Journal advertisement violated the standards set out in the
Code of Professional Responsibility.
In April 1974, the Grievance Committee received yet another
complaint concerning plaintiff's advertising, this time from
defendant the Florida Bar. Complaint, ¶ 40. Morris Gutt,
Associate Counsel to the Committee on Grievances of the
Association of the Bar, notified plaintiff by letter of the
complaint and requested that plaintiff submit a statement
setting forth his position. Plaintiff responded with a brief
letter stating that it was his belief that the advertisements
were proper. Thereafter, Gutt asked that plaintiff supply the
Grievance Committee with further information. Plaintiff
requested a hearing and refused to supply the information
sought by the Grievance Committee. Complaint, ¶¶ 53, 55.
Subsequently, the Grievance Committee, by subpoena, directed
Research, Inc. to produce the information that had been
previously requested. Complaint, ¶ 65. In addition, Gutt
drafted an internal hearing memorandum [the "Hearing
Memorandum"] to prepare the members of the Grievance Committee
for the upcoming hearing. Complaint, ¶ 74. The hearing
plaintiff had requested began on November 13, 1974, and
continued on December 4, 1974 and January 29, 1975. Complaint,
¶¶ 83, 84, 98, 107. Plaintiff alleges that he testified at the
hearings, but that he was refused any opportunity to present
his case or rebut the accusations made by the Grievance
Committee. Complaint, ¶¶ 86, 87, 109.
Plaintiff also alleges that the hearing transcript was tampered
with. Complaint, ¶ 97.
Prior to the final hearing on January 29, 1975, plaintiff
sought to enjoin the disciplinary proceedings by filing a
federal action entitled Attorneys' Research, Inc. and John
Babigian v. Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 75
Civ. 359 (MEL). Complaint, ¶¶ 57, 105. The action was
subsequently dismissed based on the abstention doctrine.
The investigation was finally closed when the Grievance
Committee received from the County Lawyers Association's
Committee on Unlawful Practice of Law a notice that the latter
had reached an agreement with plaintiff concerning the
practices of Research, Inc. Complaint, ¶ 118. Bonomi notified
plaintiff that the Grievance ...