Application by the petitioner, Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.3, to impose discipline on the respondent based upon disciplinary action taken him by the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey. The respondent was admitted to the Bar in the State of New York at a term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department on September 19, 1983. By opinion and order of this Court dated July 31, 2007, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months, commencing August 30, 2007, based on the discipline imposed by the State of New Jersey.
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.
This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.
A. GAIL PRUDENTI, P.J., WILLIAM F. MASTRO, REINALDO E. RIVERA, ROBERT A. SPOLZINO and RUTH C. BALKIN, JJ.
The Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey, by three separate orders, suspended the respondent from the practice of law for consecutive periods, totaling 21/2 years.
The respondent was admitted to practice in New Jersey in 1983. He has offices in Ridgewood, New Jersey, and Nanuet, New York.
In 1999 the respondent was reprimanded for engaging in gross neglect and lack of diligence, failing to communicate with a client, and misrepresenting the status of a case (see In re Giamanco, 161 NJ 724). In 2005, he was censured for lack of diligence in a bankruptcy matter, conflict of interest for failing to withdraw from the representation after his client filed a civil suit against him, misrepresentation that the lawsuit against him was illegal because it was precluded by the fee arbitration process, and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice for using threats and intimidation to try to convince his client to withdraw the civil suit against him (see In re Giamanco, 185 NJ 174).
On November 17, 2006, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law in New Jersey for three months for negligently misappropriating clients' funds and failing to comply with the terms of an agreement in lieu of discipline. The latter resulted in the filing of a formal ethics complaint against him, to which he failed to file an answer (see In re Giamanco, 188 NJ 494).
Based on New Jersey's three-month suspension, this Court suspended the respondent for a period of six months, commencing on August 30, 2007.
The respondent remains suspended to date in both New Jersey and New York.
On or about January 29, 2009, the Grievance Committee was notified by the Office of Attorney Ethics of the Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey (hereinafter OAE) of three additional disciplinary orders: 1. May 2, 2008, Order (filed May 6, 2008)
By order of the Supreme Court of New Jersey dated May 2, 2008, and filed May 6, 2008, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year, effective immediately, for multiple violations of New Jersey Rule of Professional Conduct (hereinafter RPC) 1.3 (lack of diligence), RPC 1.4 (b)(failure to communicate with client), and RPC 8.1(b) (failure to cooperate with disciplinary authorities). The May 2, 2008, order was based on a December 12, 2007, decision of the Disciplinary Review Board (hereinafter DRB).
Although served with ethics complaints in two separate matters, the respondent failed to cooperate and ...