In the Matter of Victor G. Sison, (admitted as Victor Garcia Sison), an attorney and counselo-at-law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Victor G. Sison, Respondent.
Respondent, Victor G. Sison, 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 February
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York (Sean A. Brandveen, of counsel), for petitioner.
Respondent pro se.
Rosalyn H. Richter, Justice Presiding, Barbara R. Kapnick,
Troy K. Webber, Jeffery K. Oing, Anil C. Singh, Justices.
Victor G. Sison was admitted to the practice of law in the
State of New York by the First Judicial Department on
February 1, 1993, under the name Victor Garcia Sison.
Respondent maintains a registered address in New Jersey where
he is admitted to practice.
the Attorney Grievance Committee (Committee) seeks an order,
pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(2) and the Rules for
Attorney Disciplinary Matters (22 NYCRR) § 1240.13 and
the doctrine of reciprocal discipline, disciplining
respondent predicated upon discipline imposed by the Supreme
Court of New Jersey, and directing him to demonstrate why
discipline should not be imposed for the underlying
misconduct, or, in the alternative, sanctioning respondent as
this Court deems appropriate under the circumstances.
was suspended for three months in New Jersey based upon
misconduct committed while he was a part-time Municipal Court
Judge in Jersey City (2004-2007) during which time he
submitted parking and traffic tickets issued to him and
members of his family to his judicial colleagues for improper
stipulated to facts relating to his involvement in ticket
fixing. In 2005, respondent received a ticket for debris left
at his law office in Jersey City. Respondent knew that he
could not dismiss or adjudicate his own ticket so he brought
it to his supervising judge. Respondent represented to New
Jersey disciplinary authorities that the perception in the
Jersey City Municipal Court was that you could not dismiss
your own ticket but you could give it to another judge. The
Judge adjudicated the ticket in chambers and respondent paid
a $50 fine and $20 court costs. Respondent considered this
adjudication to be a "test run" and assumed that
other tickets could be handled in similar fashion.
also presented parking tickets issued to him and his wife to
his colleague (who shared law office space with respondent,
did per diem work for him for which they were paid, and was
listed as "of counsel"). The colleague adjudicated
the matters, finding respondent and his wife guilty, waiving
the $42 fine for both tickets, and imposing $30 in court
costs notwithstanding that neither respondent nor his wife
formally appeared in court, nor had they pled guilty by mail
as provided for in the court rules. The $30 in assessed costs
was paid to the court.
also submitted a traffic ticket issued to his son in 2004 for
failure to observe a traffic control device, a moving
violation, to this same colleague who amended the ticket to
delaying traffic, a no-point violation, and imposed a $25
fine and $25 in court costs. Respondent's son was found
guilty of the amended offense notwithstanding he never
formally appeared in the courtroom, but was standing outside
in the hallway, and did not enter a guilty plea in a manner
prescribed by the court rules. Further, no factual basis for
the amended charge was placed on the record and neither the
municipal prosecutor nor the police officer who issued the
ticket were given notice or opportunity to be heard on the
matter. The $50 fine was paid to the court.
2007, in response to rumors of improper ticket handling
respondent asked an administrative clerk about vacating the
tickets adjudicated. Respondent asserted that he was prepared
to pay the maximum fine for each of the tickets but the clerk
informed him that a ticket could not be vacated once it was
entered "in the system." At or around this time,
respondent and others became the subjects of investigations
conducted by the court system and the New Jersey Attorney
October 3, 2007, respondent voluntarily took an unpaid leave
of absence from his judicial position. Thereafter, on or
about October 7, 2007, respondent was criminally charged with
official misconduct in violation of New Jersey Statutes
Annotated 2C:30-2(a). On August 28, 2009, the court granted
respondent's application for admission to New
Jersey's Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program for a
period of two years as a condition of which he admitted to
his mishandling the traffic tickets at issue and agreed never
to hold judicial office again in the future. Respondent
successfully completed the PTI program and the charge against
him was dismissed.
2014, the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) filed a
formal disciplinary complaint against respondent charging him
with violations of New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct
(NJRPC) 8.4(b) (commission of a criminal act that reflects
adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or
fitness as a lawyer in other respects, specifically, official
misconduct under N.J. Stat Ann 2C:30-2[a]) and NJRPC 8.4(d)
(conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of