In the Matter of M. Scott Vayer, (admitted as Marshall Scott Vayer), a suspended attorney: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, M. Scott Vayer, Respondent.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, M. Scott
Vayer, 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 January 14, 1980.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York Kathy W. Parrino, of counsel, for petitioner.
Michael S. Ross, Esq. for respondent.
T. Renwick, Justice Presiding, Richard T. Andrias, Barbara R.
Kapnick, Ellen Gesmer, Peter H. Moulton, Justices.
M. Scott Vayer was admitted to the practice of law in the
State of New York by the First Judicial Department on January
14, 1980, under the name Marshall Scott Vayer. Respondent
currently maintains a registered address within the First
order of October 21, 2010, this Court suspended respondent
from the practice of law, until further order of this Court,
as part of a mass suspension proceeding, for failure to file
attorney registration statements and pay biennial
registration fees in violation of Judiciary Law § 468-a
(Matter of Attorneys Who Are in Violation of Judiciary
Law § 468-a, 79 A.D.3d 81');">79 A.D.3d 81 [1st Dept 2010]). By
order of May 27, 2010, this Court had authorized service of
the notice of petition to suspend by publication in the New
York Law Journal for five consecutive days commencing on June
8, 2010. The complete list of suspended attorneys was also
posted on the websites of this Court and the New York Law
Journal. According to OCA records, respondent cured his
default on or about June 27, 2017, however, he did not move
for reinstatement and, thus, remains suspended.
motion, the Attorney Grievance Committee (AGC) seeks an
order, pursuant to Judiciary Law §§ 90(2) and 486,
immediately disbarring respondent, without further
proceedings, for engaging in the unauthorized practice of law
in violation of this Court's October 21, 2010 suspension
order, or, in the alternative, continuing his suspension from
the practice of law, pursuant to the Rules for Attorney
Disciplinary Matters (22 NYCRR) § 1240.9(a)(5), based on
uncontroverted evidence that he engaged in the unauthorized
practice of law.
opposes the AGC's motion and asks this Court for the
opportunity to explain his conduct and offer evidence in
states that in 2017 another attorney brought it to his
attention that he was suspended. That attorney concomitantly
brought that fact to the attention of the AGC. When contacted
by the AGC, respondent stated that while he suspected he
might not be in "good standing, " he did not
realize that he had been suspended. The AGC then commenced an
June 2017 answer to the complaint, respondent acknowledged
that he continued to practice law after his suspension but
claimed that he has not intentionally engaged in the
unauthorized practice of law because he was unaware of his
suspension. Respondent explained that he failed to renew his
registration and stopped meeting his CLE requirements around
2001 because he was engaged in major litigation and then
confronted with stressors in both his professional and
personal life. Respondent further stated that part of the
reason he did not renew his biennial registration was that he
was unable to complete his CLE requirements. Initially,
respondent believed that he would be able to catch-up on his
CLE and registration obligations, but as more time passed the
task became overwhelming.
also explained that he never subscribed to the New York Law
Journal so he did not see the notice of petition to suspend
which was published for five days in June 2010. In addition,
respondent claimed that in the fall of 2010, he moved from
both his registered home and business addresses, and
admittedly did not update the changes with OCA. Respondent
believed that any notice of his suspension sent by the AGC to
either of his previous addresses was not forwarded to him by
the subsequent occupants or the Post Office. Upon learning of
his suspension in April 2017, respondent took immediate steps
to fulfill his registration obligations and address his
suspension. For instance, after his violation of the
suspension order was reported to the AGC, respondent
completed 231.5 CLE credits and paid his delinquent
correctly argues that after 17 years of failing to
re-register or complete the required CLE credits it is
incredible that respondent thought his license to practice
law would remain valid. Accordingly, the AGC recommends
immediate disbarment or, in the alternative, an interim
argues that he did not intentionally engage in the unlawful
practice of law, because he never knew he had been suspended.
He is contrite and admits that he should have looked into the
consequences of not registering for such a long time. After
learning of his suspension respondent did suspend his law
practice, and took steps to pay back his registration fees
and become current with his CLE obligations. Although
respondent was willfully ignorant in his registration
responsibilities, this is not a case where any ...