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 December 4, 2012
Richard T. Andrias,Justice Presiding, David B. Saxe Karla Moskowitz Sheila Abdus-Salaam Sallie Manzanet-Daniels,Justices.
Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department.
Respondent Mark Anthony Bruzdziak was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the First Judicial Department on October 4, 2004. At all times relevant to this proceeding, respondent maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department. Respondent no longer maintains an office at that location, he currently lives in Florida, and is delinquent in his OCA attorney registration.
The Departmental Disciplinary Committee seeks an order pursuant to 22 NYCRR 603.4(e)(1)(i), immediately suspending respondent from the practice of law until further order of the Court due to his failure to cooperate with the Committee's investigation of professional misconduct which threatens the public interest. Respondent has not appeared in opposition to this motion.
The Committee received a complaint from one of respondent's clients, alleging that he and his family had retained respondent in late 2008 to represent him in an immigration matter and paid him $2,000. Beginning in January 2009, respondent missed multiple court dates on behalf of the client (who was incarcerated) and he failed to file required documents including a notice of appearance, and an asylum and Convention Against Torture (CAT) Treaty application. The client attempted to contact respondent by phone and by letters but no response was received. When his mother and brother attempted contact, employees at the office where respondent worked told them that he had disappeared from his office and no longer worked there. An order of removal was issued against this client.
Upon receiving this complaint, the Committee made a series of attempts to contact respondent. A letter was sent to respondent's last known business address asking for a response to the complaint within 20 days, but that was returned as not deliverable and unable to forward. Thereafter, two letters were sent to respondent's last known home address. No response was received.
On May 8, 2012, a Committee investigator attempted to serve a subpoena duces tecum at respondent's last known home address, however, when he arrived, he was told that respondent had moved out of the apartment two years earlier. A LEXIS search discovered an Ocala, Florida address for respondent and phone number. On May 9, 2012, a Committee Staff Attorney spoke with respondent by telephone advising him of the complaint filed against him. The Committee advised it would forward a copy of the complaint to respondent's home address in Florida, which address respondent confirmed was accurate.
Thereafter, the Committee sent respondent two letters with copies of the complaint directing him to answer the allegations. The two letters sent in June advised that, inter alia, respondent's failure to cooperate with the Committee's investigation could result in ...