In the Matter of Craig A. Hanlon (admitted as Craig Andrew Hanlon), an attorney and counselor-at-law: Attorney Grievance CommitteeM-7336 for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Craig A. Hanlon, Respondent.
Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New
York (Vitaly Lipkansky, of counsel), for petitioner.
Respondent pro se.
David Friedman, Justice Presiding, Dianne T. Renwick, Rosalyn
H. Richter, Angela M. Mazzarelli, Jeffrey K. Oing, Justices.
proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee
for the First Judicial Department. Respondent, Craig A.
Hanlon, 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 August 1, 2005.
Craig A. Hanlon was admitted to the practice of law in the
State of New York by the First Judicial Department on August
1, 2005, under the name Craig Andrew Hanlon. At all times
relevant to this proceeding, respondent maintained an office
for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department.
Attorney Grievance Committee (Committee) seeks an order
striking respondent's name from the roll of attorneys,
pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b), on the ground that
he was convicted of a felony as defined by Judiciary Law
§ 90(4)(e), namely, grand larceny in the second degree,
and has therefore been automatically disbarred. Even though
respondent has not yet been sentenced, the Committee's
application is timely because, for purposes of automatic
disbarment, a conviction occurs at the time of plea or
verdict (see Matter of Ogihara, 121 A.D.3d 47');">121 A.D.3d 47 [1st
Dept 2014]). Morever, the Committee contends that the fact
that respondent may, in the future, be permitted to withdraw
his felony plea and replead to a misdemeanor if he complies
with the plea agreement terms is of no moment because he
could then move to vacate his disbarment (see Matter of
Silberman, 31 A.D.3d 21, 22-23 [1st Dept 2006]).
pro se, has not submitted a response to this motion or
16, 2019, respondent entered a plea of guilty in Supreme
Court, New York County, to grand larceny in the second degree
(Penal Law § 155.40), a class C felony. At the plea
proceeding, respondent admitted that, during the period
between February 2018 and February 2019, while representing a
client in a divorce matter, he maintained $100, 000 in his
escrow account and, having refused to transfer the money to
the wife's attorney pursuant to a stipulation,
respondent, without permission or authority, stole $71,
690.07 of that money for his personal use.
of his plea agreement, respondent agreed to participate in a
substance abuse treatment program, and, if after 18
months' compliance with all probation details under the
agreement, be permitted to replead to the misdemeanor of
petit larceny. Respondent also agreed to the entry of a
judgment order against him in the amount of the stolen funds
($71, 690.07), and to the transfer of $28, 309.93 of funds
seized from his escrow account to the attorney for the wife.
Committee correctly asserts that respondent's conviction
of a New York felony is a basis for automatic disbarment
pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4). New York Judiciary
Law § 90(4)(a) provides:
"Any person being an attorney and counsellor-at-law who
shall be convicted of a felony as defined in paragraph e of
this subdivision, shall upon such conviction, cease to be an
attorney and counsellor-at-law, or to be competent to
practice law as such."
Law § 90(4)(e) provides in pertinent part as follows:
"For purposes of this subdivision, the term felony shall
mean any criminal offense classified as a felony under the