In the Matter of Nicole Leigh Perskie, an attorney and counselor-at-law. Attorney Registration No. 4953584
L. Casella, White Plains, NY (Glenn E. Simpson of counsel),
for Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District.
RANDALL T. ENG, P.J. WILLIAM F. M ASTRO REINALDO E. RIVERA
MARK C. DILLON ROBERT J. MILLER, JJ.
OPINION & ORDER
respondent, Nicole Leigh Perskie, was admitted to the Bar at
a term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the
Second Judicial Department on December 7, 2011. By order to
show cause dated July 21, 2017, this Court directed the
respondent to show cause why discipline should or should not
be imposed upon her in this State pursuant to 22 NYCRR
1240.13, based on the misconduct underlying the discipline
imposed upon her by an order of the Supreme Court of New
Jersey filed September 21, 2016.
orderfiledSeptember21, 2016, the Supreme Court of New Jersey
temporarily suspended the respondent from the practice of law
until further order of that court based upon her failure to
cooperate in an investigation by the New Jersey Office of
Attorney Ethics (hereinafter the OAE) involving an overdraft
in her attorney trust account maintained at Bank of America
on April 19, 2016.
about April 25, 2016, the OAE received a notice from Bank of
America that two checks drawn against the respondent's
firm's attorney trust account were honored when presented
for payment on April 19, 2016, against insufficient funds,
resulting in an overdraft on the account. By letter dated
April 29, 2016, the OAE requested a written explanation for
the overdraft from the respondent's firm together with
certain trust account records. By letter dated May 12, 2016,
a second request was mailed to the respondent, requesting a
"documented explanation as to why the overdraft
occurred.'' When the respondent failed to respond, a
third letter, dated May 31, 2016, was mailed to the
respondent, demanding a written explanation by close of
business on June 7, 2016.
respondent submitted an explanation by letter dated June 1,
2016, and a supplemental response dated June 7, 2016,
attributing the overdraft to a late deposit by her assistant
on April 19, 2016. The respondent did not submit any sup
porting documentation or the requested records with her
letter dated June 14, 2016, the OAE directed the respondent
to appear at its offices on July 12, 2016, and produce for
examination all books and records required to be maintained
in accordance with New Jersey Rules of Court rule 1:21-6(h).
On July 12, 2016, the respondent failed to appear at the
OAE's offices; instead, she faxed a note to the OAE,
advising that she had no access to her records as they had
been shipped to her new office location, for which she had
not yet been provided keys. The respondent's appearance
and the demand audit were adjourned until July 18, 2016. On
July 18, 2016, the respondent failed to appear at the
OAE's offices, but had her assistant fax a letter to the
OAE advising that the respondent was "unable to access
the books and records necessary for the audit by today as
promised" and requesting one final adjournment.
interim, the OAE obtained copies of the respondent's
attorney trust account records directly from Bank of America
pursuant to subpoena. The OAE's review of the records
revealed numerous cash withdrawals and an imp roper account
denomination on the statements and checks. Letters dated July
20, 2016, July 27, 2016, and July 28, 2016, from the OAE to
the respondent directing her to appear at the OAE's
offices on August 2, 2016, were either not responded to or
returned by the Post Office. On August 1, 2016, in response
to a telephone call placed to her assistant, the respondent
called the OAE and confirmed she would appear for the demand
audit on August 2, 2016. The respondent failed to appear on
August 2, 2016, and ''failed to provide the OAE with
her attorney trust account and attorney business account
records as requested."
up on the respondent's continued failure to comply with
the OAE's requests to provide a fully documented
explanation for the transactions in her attorney trust
account, the violations discovered in the OAE's limited
review of the subpoenaed records, and the respondent's
failure to cooperate, the OAE concluded that the respondent
"constitute[d] a substantial threat of serious harm to
her clients, specifically to the integrity of client funds
entrusted to her care." By order of the Supreme Court of
New Jersey filed September 21, 2016, the respondent was
temporarily suspended from the practice of law in New Jersey,
and all funds deposited in any New Jersey financial
institution maintained by the respondent were restrained from
disbursement, except on application to the court.
respondent failed to advise this Court of the suspension of
her New Jersey law license, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.13(d).
the respondent was duly served with this Court's order to
show cause dated July 21, 2017, she has neither interposed
any response thereto, nor requested additional time to
respond. Accordingly, there is no impediment to the
imposition of reciprocal discipline.
upon the misconduct underlying the order of the Supreme Court
of New Jersey filed September 21, 2016, we conclude that
reciprocal discipline is warranted, and, effective
immediately, the respondent is suspended from the practice of
law until further order of the ...