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.
SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISIONFirst Judicial Department
Luis A. Gonzalez,Presiding Justice, Peter Tom Sallie Manzanet-Daniels Nelson S. Roman Paul G. Feinman,Justices.
Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Neal H. Rosenberg, 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 October 22, 1975.
Respondent Neal H. Rosenberg was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on October 22, 1975. At all times relevant to this proceeding, he maintained a principal place of business within the First Judicial Department.
On March 7, 2011, the Departmental Disciplinary Committee (Committee) served respondent with a notice and statement of charges containing six charges, four of which alleged professional misconduct stemming from respondent's misuse of his Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA account).*fn1
Charges one and two of the Committee's statement of charges allege that respondent violated DR 9-102(a) of the Code of Professional Responsibility (22 NYCRR 1200.46[a]), which prohibits an attorney from misappropriating the funds in an IOLA account or commingling them with the lawyer's own funds or the funds of another. Specifically, the Committee alleges that respondent misappropriated funds from his IOLA account by disbursing those funds to himself and others in excess of the amounts to which respondent and others were entitled. The Committee also alleges that respondent deposited personal funds into his IOLA account thereby commingling them with client funds.
Charge three alleges that respondent violated DR 9-102(b)(1) (22 NYCRR 1200.46[b]), which prohibits an attorney from using his IOLA account as a business/personal account by making disbursements from his IOLA account for his own personal and/or business purposes.
Charge four alleges that respondent violated DR 9-102(d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(9) (22 NYCRR 1200.46[d], [d], and [d]), which require an attorney to keep records identifying the clients whose funds are deposited within his IOLA account and detailing all transactions related to such account, by failing to keep a ledger or similar contemporaneous record of all disbursements and deposits related to his IOLA account.
Charge five alleges that respondent violated DR 5-103(b) (22 NYCRR 1200.22[b]), which prohibits an attorney from advancing or guaranteeing financial assistance to a client during the course of pending litigation, by ...