In the Matter of Matthew H. Goldsmith, (admitted as Matthew Harris Goldsmith), an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Matthew H. Goldsmith, Respondent.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Matthew H.
Goldsmith, 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 February 11, 2004.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York, (Yvette A. Rosario, of counsel), for petitioner.
Respondent pro se.
Tom, Justice Presiding, Rosalyn H. Richter, Barbara R.
Kapnick, Cynthia S. Kern, Peter H. Moulton, Justices.
Matthew H. Goldsmith was admitted to the practice of law in
the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on
February 11, 2004, under the name Matthew Harris Goldsmith.
At all times relevant to this proceeding, respondent
maintained an office for the practice of law within the First
Attorney Grievance Committee (Committee) seeks an order
pursuant to the Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matters (22
NYCRR) § 1240.9(a)(1), (3) and (5), immediately
suspending respondent from the practice of law until further
order of the Court, due to his failure to appear pursuant to
subpoena and to comply with lawful demands of the Committee,
and other uncontroverted evidence of professional misconduct.
Specifically, the Committee's motion is based on
uncontested evidence that respondent
converted/misappropriated and commingled client funds and
failed to cooperate with the Committee's investigation of
about November 4, 2016, a client of respondent's filed a
complaint against him alleging that in April 2012, he
retained respondent to represent him in a breach of contract
action against a company. In November 2012, a judgment was
entered against the defendant company for $15, 603.44 plus
interest but respondent was unable to locate the company to
collect the funds. In July 2016, respondent emailed his
client stating that he had collected half of the funds by
freezing the defendant's bank account, anticipated
recovering the remainder, and would update the client further
in the following weeks.
August 2016, respondent emailed his client that he had
recovered the entire judgment, but that the defendant was
attempting to contest the levy. Respondent further informed
his client that he hoped to resolve the issue quickly and
would know more later that week. The client alleged that
numerous phone calls to respondent's office and cell
phone went unanswered and respondent's secretary informed
the client that she had relayed all his messages to
respondent. In mid-September, the client emailed respondent
requesting an update on the funds but respondent did not
December 1, 2016, the client received a check from respondent
for $16, 512.59 but it was returned for insufficient funds.
On January 11, 2017, the client received a second check for
the same amount that was also returned for insufficient
January 19, 2017, the client emailed a paralegal at
respondent's firm, requesting a cashier's check. The
paralegal replied that respondent had instructed her to
inform the client that if he withdrew his complaint, a bank
check would be sent to him. That same day, respondent emailed
his client directly:
"Stop contacting my paralegal and contact me directly.
If you want a cashier's check for the amount fine, but
then discontinue your proceedings. If they are open, then
I'll deal with the court directly and will seek to reopen
your case... since they claim that you should be paid less,
it's really up to you. Do not contact my paralegal again,
and cease your threats or you will be looking at a lawsuit
against you - DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?"
March 2017, the client notified the Committee that he had
received a cashier's check from respondent for the full
December 19, 2016, the Committee received a complaint from a
woman alleging that her son had retained respondent on her
behalf regarding her illegal eviction. Court documents
reflect that after the defendant failed to appear in the
action, the court awarded respondent's client a total of
$224, 339.81 in damages. The client believes that respondent
received "a judgment" without informing her. Since