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.
Decided on February 23, 2012
Richard T. Andrias, Justice Presiding, David B. Saxe Rosalyn H. Richter Sallie Manzanet-Daniels Nelson S. Roman, Justices. x
Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Alexander Gurevich, was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Second Judicial Department on December 14, 1998.
M-583, M-1372 March 30, 2011
IN THE MATTER OF ALEXANDER J. GUREVICH, AN ATTORNEY
Respondent Alexander J. Gurevich was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on December 14, 1998. At all times relevant to this proceeding, he maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department.
In June 2009, the Departmental Disciplinary Committee (the Committee) filed 10 charges against respondent alleging that he committed professional misconduct in connection with a commercial real estate transaction and testified falsely at his sworn deposition before the Committee. In his answer, respondent admitted many of the factual allegations, but denied all charges.
In March 2010, the Referee, after hearing, sustained charges 1 through 6 and 10 in their entirety. Charges 7 and 8 were sustained in part and charge 9 was withdrawn by the Committee. In July 2010, the Referee recommended a one-year suspension. During the proceedings before the Hearing Panel, the Committee withdrew charge 2. In December 2010, the Hearing Panel issued its report in which it affirmed the Referee's liability findings as to the remaining charges, and recommended that the proposed suspension be increased to eighteen months.
The Committee now moves for an order confirming the findings of the Referee and Hearing Panel sustaining charges 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10, in full, and charges 7 and 8, in part, and confirming the sanction recommendation of the Hearing Panel to suspend respondent for eighteen months. Respondent cross moves to the extent of seeking an order disaffirming the sanction recommendation of both the Referee and the Hearing Panel and instead imposing a public censure.
The charges arise out of the following facts. In 2003, respondent formed a group of investors to purchase a retail mall outlet from Designer Outlet Gallery (DOG) for $13 million. Respondent was to co-broker the sale with DOG's managing member and they created Castle Development, LLC (Castle) to receive the anticipated 6% brokerage commission ($780,000), which DOG was to direct the buyer to pay from the sales proceeds.
The contract was assigned to Secaucus Outlet Center, LLC (SOC), formed by respondent and his fellow investors. SOC sought $10 million in financing from UBS Real Estate Investment, Inc. (UBS). ...