Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Meloni

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

September 5, 2017

In the Matter of Robert S. Meloni, an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Robert S. Meloni, Respondent.

         Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Robert S. Meloni, was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Judicial Department on January 12, 1981.

          Jorge Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New York (Remi E. Shea, of counsel), for petitioner.

          Respondent pro se.

          Rosalyn H. Richter, Justice Presiding, Sallie Manzanet-Daniels, Angela M. Mazzarelli, Karla Moskowitz, Troy K. Webber, Justices.

          OPINION

          PER CURIAM.

         Respondent Robert S. Meloni was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the First Judicial Department on January 12, 1981. At all times relevant to this proceeding, he has maintained a law practice within the First Judicial Department.

         On March 1, 2017, respondent was served with a notice and statement of charges alleging violations of New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rules 1.15(a), 1.15(b)(1) and (2), 1.15(e), and 8.4(h). The six charges alleged respondent's misuse of his escrow account by making improper cash withdrawals, commingling client funds with business funds, failing to properly identify the special account, and falsely certifying his compliance with rule 1.15 in his attorney biennial registration.

         On or about April 5, 2017, respondent filed an answer and set forth mitigating factors.

         Now, by joint notice of motion dated May 8, 2017, the Attorney Grievance Committee and respondent ask this Court to censure respondent, pursuant to the Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matters (22 NYCRR) § 1240.8(a)(5), based upon the stipulated facts and consent of the parties.

         Pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.8(a)(5)(i), the motion is supported by a joint affirmation which contains a statement of facts, conditional admissions, factors in mitigation, and an agreed upon discipline, namely, public censure. Pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.8(a)(5)(ii), the motion is accompanied by respondent's affidavit acknowledging his conditional admission of stipulated facts, his consent to the agreed upon discipline, which he has freely and voluntarily given, and his full awareness of the consequences of such consent.

         Respondent was the owner and named partner of Meloni & McCaffrey, P.C. Thomas McCaffrey, Esq., was a partner of the firm in name only, without an ownership interest or access to the law firm's bank accounts. From at least August 2013 through June 2015 (the audit period), respondent maintained an escrow account.

         Throughout the audit period, respondent used his escrow account as his operating account, during which time he withdrew approximately $92, 203 in cash via ATM machines. During the audit period, respondent owed a total of approximately $31, 398.69 in unpaid federal taxes for 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In November 2014, the Internal Revenue Service notified him that his taxes were past due. One of the two letters sent was a "final notice" letter informing respondent of the IRS's intent to file a tax lien. On or about December 3, 2014, respondent made full payment of the $31, 398.69 taxes owed.

         On March 25, 2014, respondent received settlement funds in the amount of $22, 500 into his escrow account. Two days later, on March 27, 2014, respondent authorized a $22, 500 online wire transfer of those funds from his escrow account on behalf of his client. At the time that respondent held the settlement funds, he also held business funds in his escrow account.

         Rule 1.15 prohibits commingling of client funds by requiring an attorney to maintain separate accounts for client funds and business or personal funds; requires withdrawals from an escrow account be made only to a named payee and not to cash; and requires an escrow account to be identified as "Attorney Special Account, " "Attorney Trust Account" or "Attorney Escrow Account." In September 2014, when respondent filed his biennial attorney registration with the Office of Court Administration, he certified that he was in compliance with rule 1.15 when he was not. Specifically, respondent had commingled client and business ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.