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 January 31, 2013
SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISIONFirst Judicial Department
Angela M. Mazzarelli,Justice Presiding, Richard T. Andrias David Friedman John W. Sweeny, Jr. Karla Moskowitz,Justices.
Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Peter S. Koenig, 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 February 25, 1976.
M-1420 (May 21, 2012) IN THE MATTER OF PETER S. KOENIG, AN ATTORNEY
Respondent Peter S. Koenig was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on February 25, 1976 under the name Peter Stuart Koenig. 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 now seeks an order, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 605.15(e)(2), confirming the Hearing Panel's determination which recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for no less than three months.
In December 2007, the Second Circuit issued an order referring respondent to its Committee on Admissions and Grievances (CAG) based on his failure, with respect to nine of the eleven petitions for review that respondent had filed with the court, to file supporting briefs in accordance with the court's scheduling orders. Respondent's neglect led to the dismissal of those petitions. The referral order further indicated that, although respondent represented clients before the Second Circuit, he was never admitted to the bar of that court.
In March 2008, the CAG directed respondent to show cause why it should not recommend disciplinary and/or other corrective action regarding his conduct. Respondent was also directed to divulge any currently pending or previous disciplinary proceedings brought against him by any tribunal, bar association or other organization. In response, respondent submitted a brief, one-page letter which failed to provide the requested information regarding his disciplinary history. In September 2008, the CAG held a hearing at which respondent appeared pro se but presented no witnesses. Although respondent failed to provide the CAG with any documentation regarding his disciplinary history, he alluded during his testimony to the fact that he had been the subject of prior complaints submitted to the DDC (indeed, he had been admonished on three separate occasions for neglecting client matters). When reminded that the CAG had explicitly asked him to provide detailed information on this issue in its March 2008 letter, respondent indicated that he had been confused by the request.
In March 2009, the CAG issued its report concluding that respondent had neglected the nine immigration matters in which he failed to file briefs and that he had practiced before the Second Circuit without ever having been admitted. The CAG found respondent's misconduct was aggravated by, inter alia, his prior disciplinary history for neglect, his failure to provide the CAG with requested information, and his failure to acknowledge wrongdoing. The CAG also found, however, that respondent's misconduct was mitigated by, inter alia, the absence of a dishonest or selfish motive. As to ...