In the Matter of Stanley L. Cohen, (admitted as Stanley Lewis Cohen), a suspended attorney: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Stanley L. Cohen, (OCA Atty. Reg. No. 1941202), Respondent.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York (Raymond Vallejo, of counsel), for petitioner.
Diane McShea, Esq. for respondent.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Stanley L.
Cohen, 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 July 11, 1984.
Stanley L. Cohen was admitted to the practice of law in the
State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on July
11, 1984, under the name Stanley Lewis Cohen. At all times
relevant to this proceeding, he maintained an office for the
practice of law within the First Judicial Department.
joint notice of motion dated November 16, 2017, the Attorney
Grievance Committee and respondent ask this Court, pursuant
to the Rules for Attorney Discipline Matters (22 NYCRR)
§ 1240.8(a)(5), to suspend him from the practice of law
for a period of 2½ years, effective as of April 14,
2015, the date of his interim suspension, based upon the
stipulated facts and consent of the parties (140 A.D.3d 67');">140 A.D.3d 67
[1st Dept 2015]).
April 14, 2014, respondent was convicted, upon his plea of
guilty, in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of New York of obstructing and impeding the Internal
Revenue Service, in violation of 26 USC § 7212(a), a
felony. On May 1, 2014, respondent was convicted, upon his
plea of guilty, in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York of two counts of failure to
file individual income tax returns for the years 2006 and
2007, in violation of 26 USC § 7203, a misdemeanor.
was sentenced, in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of New York, to concurrent terms of 18
months in prison on the Northern District matter and 12
months each on the two counts in the Southern District
matter, to be followed by one year of supervised release.
Defendant was also ordered to pay all taxes, penalties and
interest due the IRS and the New York State Department of
Taxation and Finance, as well as pay a special assessment. On
January 5, 2015, respondent began his prison sentence and
ceased the practice of law. 
order entered April 14, 2015, this Court found
respondent's offenses constituted "serious
crimes" and granted the Committee's motion
immediately suspending him from the practice of law, and
remanding the matter for a sanction hearing to be held within
90 days of his release from prison.
December 15, 2015, respondent was released after serving 11
months in prison and, thereafter, completed his supervised
release. Respondent also paid the assessment and, thereafter,
filed his federal and state tax returns for the period 2005
through 2009, the tax years underlying the criminal matters.
Respondent paid $118, 000 in estimated taxes towards his tax
the IRS and New York State are claiming significant taxes are
still owed. Negotiations for a settlement and payment plan
between the IRS and respondent and New York State and
respondent remain ongoing.
October 26, 2016, counsel for respondent filed an affidavit
of compliance with this Court's April 14, 2015 interim
admits that he was convicted of offenses which are defined as
"serious crimes" under New York law and that his
conduct violated rule 8.4(b) of the New York Rules of
Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0), which provides that a
lawyer shall not engage in illegal conduct that adversely
reflects on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or
fitness as a lawyer.
parties agree that, in accordance with the case law and
taking into account the factors in mitigation, a suspension
of 2½ years, retroactive to his interim suspension
dated April 14, 2015, is appropriate. The mitigating factors
considered by the parties include respondent's candor
about his misconduct, his acceptance of responsibility and
expressions of sincere remorse and contrition; his filing of
all outstanding federal and state tax returns for 2005
through 2010 covering all the years he had failed to file
returns, and his payment of estimated payments totaling $118,
000 for tax years 2006 through 2009; his position as a staff
lawyer with the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx from
1984-1989, and as a solo practitioner handling mostly
criminal defense matters representing many indigent clients,
many of whom were Native Americans, from 1989-2015; his
devotion to pro bono work in international human rights
matters as a "significant" part of his practice,
and his plan to continue this work upon his reinstatement;
his devotion to caring for his longtime life-partner who has
long-term serious mental and physical health problems; his
own chronic health condition; his previously unblemished
record as an attorney; his austere lifestyle, where