In the Matter of Natalia A. Sishodia, admitted as Natalia Aleksandrovna Sishodia, an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Natalia A. Sishodia, Respondent.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Natalia A.
Sishodia, 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 13, 2014.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York (Orlando Reyes, of counsel), for petitioner.
Michael S. Ross, for respondent.
Friedman, Justice Presiding, Angela M. Mazzarelli, Karla
Moskowitz, Judith J. Gische, Ellen Gesmer, Justices.
Natalia A. Sishodia was admitted to the practice of law in
the State of New York by the First Judicial Department on
January 13, 2014 under the name Natalia Aleksandrovna
Sishodia. At all times relevant to this proceeding, she
maintained a law practice within the First Judicial
notice of joint motion dated April 26 and April 27, 2017, the
Attorney Grievance Committee (the Committee) and respondent
move pursuant to the Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matters
(22 NYCRR) § 1240.8(a)(5) for this Court to impose
discipline on consent based upon the parties' stipulated
facts and their agreement that respondent be suspended from
the practice of law for two years and until further order of
this Court. 
disciplinary charges to be resolved by this joint motion
arose from respondent's employment at the firm of Felix
Nihamin and Associates, P.C. (the Firm). Respondent, who is
now 33 years-old, began working at the Firm in or about
November 2012 as a part-time law clerk. She became an
associate in January 2014 following her admission to the New
York State Bar. In or about August 2014, respondent, then
nine-months pregnant, left the Firm, intending her departure
to be permanent so that she could be a stay-at-home parent to
about October 21, 2014, this Court suspended Mr. Nihamin from
the practice of law for a three-month period, effective on
November 20, 2014. Mr. Nihamin informed respondent of his
impending suspension and asked her to manage the Firm during
his suspension. Respondent agreed to do so.
or about November 20, 2014 until in or about February 2016,
respondent resumed her employment at the Firm, working as its
managing attorney. During this period, she was the Firm's
only employee authorized to practice law in New York State.
Accordingly, respondent acted on behalf of the Firm,
representing clients on a daily basis. While doing so,
respondent took a significant number of actions at the
direction of Mr. Nihamin.
addition, respondent worked with the Firm's paralegals
and its bookkeeper at the direction of Mr. Nihamin.
Respondent also signed blank checks from the Firm's
operating account, to be made payable for legitimate firm
expenses, which were later made payable for Mr. Nihamin's
benefit by the bookkeeper, without respondent's
knowledge. Some of these checks were used to pay Mr.
Nihamin's personal expenses, including mortgage and car
about February 24, 2015, Mr. Nihamin applied to this Court
for reinstatement. In connection with this, respondent
authorized a paralegal of the Firm to sign her name to and
notarize an affidavit dated April 1, 2015. The affidavit
falsely stated that, during the relevant time period, Mr.
Nihamin was not involved in the Firm's representation of
clients in legal matters in New York State. The affidavit was
submitted to this Court in support of Mr. Nihamin's
about November 16, 2015, the Committee commenced a sua sponte
investigation against respondent. In response to the sua
sponte investigation, respondent submitted an answer dated
December 4, 2015, in which she falsely stated that, during
the time period in question, she represented the Firm's
clients without Mr. Nihamin's participation. She also
falsely represented, in her answer, that during the relevant
time period, she supervised the Firm's staff in
connection with clients' legal matters without Mr.
about January 6, 2016, the Committee interviewed respondent
by telephone in connection with Mr. Nihamin's
reinstatement application. During the interview, respondent
falsely stated that, during the relevant time period, she
represented the Firm's clients and supervised the