Appellate Division, First Department
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.
Luis A. Gonzalez,Presiding Justice, John W. Sweeny, Jr. Karla Moskowitz Dianne T. Renwick Rosalyn H. Richter,Justices.
Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Steven A. Colarossi, was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Judicial Department on June 18, 1990.
Respondent Steven A. Colarossi was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the First Judicial Department on June 18, 1990. Respondent was admitted to practice law in Connecticut in 1989 where he maintains an office for the practice of law. He was also admitted to practice law in Massachusetts on June 19, 1991.
By order of this Court dated April 24, 1997, effective May 27, 1997, respondent was suspended, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 468-a, for non-payment of biennial registration fees. To date, respondent has not registered or been reinstated in New York.
By order dated March 8, 2010, respondent was publicly reprimanded by the Connecticut Superior Court. The Departmental Disciplinary Committee now moves, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 603.3, for an order imposing the sanction of public censure upon respondent as reciprocal discipline or, in the alternative, sanctioning respondent as we deem appropriate. Respondent opposes the imposition of reciprocal discipline.
Although this proceeding is based on discipline imposed in Connecticut, that proceeding arose from a disciplinary proceeding in Massachusetts, where respondent is currently suspended.
After being admitted in New York in 1990, respondent relocated to Massachusetts where he was admitted to practice in 1991, and began practicing with a Boston law firm. Respondent claims he lacked sufficient financial resources to pay New York's biennial registration fee and he allowed it to lapse in 1992, eventually resulting in his suspension in 1997 for non-payment.
In 2001, respondent relocated to Norwalk, Connecticut, where he worked as a contract attorney with a local firm and established a modest practice with several clients of his own. One of these clients, Anthony Isola (Isola) retained respondent to represent him in the sale of a condominium unit. Since respondent did not have a Connecticut escrow account, he used his Massachusetts IOLTA account to receive and disburse funds related to the sale. After the closing in April 2008, Isola requested that respondent keep the portion of the sale funds he received on deposit in ...