In the Matter of Diana S. Downing, an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Diana S. Downing, Respondent.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Diana S.
Downing, 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 October 29, 1990.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York (Kevin M. Doyle, of counsel), for petitioner.
W. Sweeny, Jr., Justice Presiding, Angela M. Mazzarelli,
Karla Moskowitz, Marcy L. Kahn, Ellen Gesmer, Justices.
Diana S. Downing was admitted to the practice of law in the
State of New York by the First Judicial Department on October
29, 1990. At all times relevant to these proceedings, the
Office of Court Administration (OCA) attorney registration
records has listed either a street address or a post office
box address as respondent's business address, both of
which are within the First Judicial Department.
1, 2010, in Supreme Court, New York County, respondent was
convicted, upon her plea of guilty, of grand larceny in the
third degree (Penal Law § 155.35), a class D felony,
welfare fraud in the third degree (Penal Law § 158.15),
a class D felony, and offering a false instrument for filing
in the first degree (Penal Law § 175.35), a class E
felony, in full satisfaction of the charges pending against
to the New York County District Attorney's office,
respondent, who claimed that she managed a building in
Manhattan for free rent when in fact she owed the building,
as well as the adjacent building, and received rental income
from both buildings, was charged with receiving $38, 161.84
in public health insurance benefits between 2005 and 2008.
August 12, 2010, respondent was sentenced to five years
probation on each count to run concurrently and a $5, 000
fine, which she paid that day. At sentencing, respondent
advised the court that she had already made restitution in
the amount of $18, 104, which included interest.
3, 2011, upon respondent's application, her July 1, 2010
plea and August 12, 2010 sentence were vacated. She then
re-entered the same guilty pleas and was resentenced to a
conditional discharge so she could spend time with her child
outside the country.
the requirement of self-reporting within 30 days of
conviction under Judiciary Law § 90(4)(c), respondent
never advised this Court of her conviction. Quite by
happenstance, the Attorney Grievance Committee learned about
the conviction in 2016.
Committee now seeks an order, pursuant to Judiciary Law
§ 90(4)(b) and The Rules for Attorney Disciplinary
Matters (22 NYCRR) § 1240.12(c)(1), striking
respondent's name from the roll of attorneys on the
ground that she was automatically disbarred as of the date of
her conviction of a felony (see Judiciary Law §
90[a]), as defined by Judiciary Law § 90(4)(e).
was served with this motion by mailing a copy to the post
office box address which she has listed with OCA, via first
class mail and certified mail return receipt requested, and
by email, pursuant to our unpublished order of July 20, 2017
which granted the Committee's application to serve
respondent by substituted service. Respondent has not
submitted any papers.
conviction of New York felonies is a basis for automatic
disbarment pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a) and (b).