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In the Matter of Bruce G. Pritikin (Admitted As Bruce Gilbert Pritikin)

February 5, 2013

IN THE MATTER OF BRUCE G. PRITIKIN (ADMITTED AS BRUCE GILBERT PRITIKIN), AN ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR-AT-LAW: DEPARTMENTAL DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE FOR THE FIRST JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT, PETITIONER, BRUCE G. PRITIKIN, RESPONDENT.


Per curiam.

Matter of Pritikin

Appellate Division, First Department

Per Curiam

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 5, 2013

Luis A. Gonzalez, Presiding Justice, David B. Saxe Sheila Abdus-Salaam Sallie Manzanet-Daniels Nelson S. Roman, Justices.

Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Bruce G. Pritikin, 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 January 27, 1967. Jorge Dopico, Chief Counsel, Departmental Disciplinary Committee, New York (Jeremy S. Garber, of counsel), for petitioner. Richard M. Maltz, for respondent. M-2485 (August 27, 2012) IN THE MATTER OF BRUCE G. PRITIKIN, AN ATTORNEY

Respondent Bruce Gilbert Pritikin was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on January 27, 1967. At all times relevant to this proceeding, he maintained a principal place of business within the First Judicial Department.

On March 29, 2011, the Departmental Disciplinary Committee (Committee) served respondent with a notice and statement of charges containing eight charges, each one alleging professional misconduct stemming from respondent's misuse of his Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA account).

Charges one and two of the Committee's statement of charges alleges that respondent violated DR 1-102(a)(4) of the Code of Professional Responsibility (22 NYCRR 1200.3[a][4]), which prohibits an attorney from engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation. The Committee alleges that respondent violated this rule by depositing a client's personal and business funds into his IOLA account in order to help a client avoid the attachment of various outstanding tax liens and judgments. The Committee alleges that this rule was also violated when respondent converted the funds of another client of respondent's public accounting firm, by using that client's funds, without permission or authority, to satisfy another client's personal and business obligations.

Charge three alleges that respondent violated DR 1-102(a)(5) (22 NYCRR 1200.3[a][5]), which prohibits an attorney from engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice. The Committee alleges that respondent violated this rule by depositing a client's personal and business funds into his IOLA account in order to help the client avoid the attachment of various outstanding tax liens and judgments.

Charges four and five allege that respondent violated DR 9-102(a) (22 NYCRR 1200.46[a]), which prohibits an attorney from misappropriating funds belonging to another. The Committee alleges that respondent violated this rule by allowing two Automatic Clearing House debits presented on the IOLA account to be dishonored for insufficient funds and by issuing a check to "cash," which resulted in the IOLA account becoming overdrawn.

Charge six alleges that respondent violated DR 9-102(b)(1)) (22 NYCRR 1200.46[b][1]), which requires that an attorney keep his business and personal accounts separate from an IOLA account. The Committee alleges that respondent violated this rule by depositing a client's personal and business funds into respondent's IOLA account, and using the account as a personal/business account ...


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