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.
Decided on November 8, 2012
Rolando T. Acosta,Justice Presiding, Dianne T. Renwick Leland G. DeGrasse Helen E. Freedman Rosalyn H. Richter,Justices.
Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Henry Zhang, 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 March 7, 2001.
IN THE MATTER OF HENRY ZHANG - AN ATTORNEY
Respondent, Henry Zhang, was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on March 7, 2001. At all times relevant to this proceeding, respondent has maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department.
The Departmental Disciplinary Committee seeks an order pursuant to 22 NYCRR 603.3, imposing reciprocal discipline by way of a public censure of respondent based on an order issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, dated May 10, 2010, publicly reprimanding him.
By orders entered December 18, 2007 and March 10, 2008, the Second Circuit referred respondent to its Committee on Admissions and Grievances (CAG) for an investigation and report on whether he should be subject to disciplinary or other corrective measures. The 2007 order was based on the Second Circuit's dismissal of 34 of 91 petitions for review filed by respondent in immigration cases over a five-year period. All of the dismissals were based on respondent's failure to comply with the court's scheduling orders. The 2008 order cited inaccurate and misleading information in forms filed with the court with respect to two related immigration appeals of a married couple.
After submitting a response to the court's referral orders, respondent appeared with counsel at a hearing that was held before a subcommittee of the CAG on November 19, 2008. In March 2009, the CAG filed its report finding respondent guilty by clear and convincing evidence of conduct "unbecoming of a member of the bar." The CAG's report noted the following:
"Specifically, [respondent] has engaged in conduct inimical to the administration of justice,' . . . and neglected matters entrusted to a lawyer, N. Y. Code D.R. 6-101(A)(3). The evidence in this proceeding shows that [respondent] and members of his office neglected client matters, primarily through failure to file timely briefs, but also on at least two occasions through deficient briefing. In addition, [respondent] repeatedly failed to formally withdraw from or stipulate to the dismissal of cases which he had in practice abandoned, thus burdening the Court with extra work, and violating the Court's scheduling orders. However, no evidence supports any finding of dishonesty or bad faith on [respondent's] part; rather, [respondent's] misconduct appears to be the product primarily of personal difficulties and inadequate case management. The Committee notes that there is no dispute over any fact that serves as a basis for disciplinary action." The CAG did find that respondent's practice appeared to be functioning effectively as of the date of the report. The CAG recommended a public reprimand as a sufficient sanction in recognition of the severity of respondent's ...