Thursday, January 31, 2013

Judges Debate New York's Approach to Attorney Discipline

Judges at a panel on Tuesday defended New York state's department-by-department approach to discipline of attorneys, saying they receive fair hearings regardless of the venue.
New York leaves attorney discipline up to each of the four intermediate appellate departments, unlike many states that have a unified system.

During a discussion at the New York State Bar Association's annual meeting, Luis Gonzalez, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, said that while uniformity was a "laudable objective," justice could still be served using disparate disciplinary rules.
Some differences in the department's disciplinary rules are minor or procedural, panelists said. In the First Department, for instance, referees designated to investigate certain cases are allowed to make recommendations to the judges about the type of sanction to impose. In the Second Department they generally cannot.

Other differences are more significant.

Only two appellate divisions -- the Third and Fourth -- allow oral arguments in disciplinary cases. And all the appellate departments except the First have a diversion program for attorneys whose minor disciplinary infractions stem from alcohol or drug abuse.

Some New York attorneys have questioned whether the state bar would benefit from a less balkanized system. In a 2005 report, the New York County Lawyers Association's Committee on Lawyer Discipline suggested the disciplinary rules should be more unified.

Full Article and Source:
Judges Debate New York's Approach to Attorney Discipline


Betty said...

The discussion should be about why so many attorneys are getting off with no discipline.

StandUp said...

Attorney discipline is always veiled in confidentiality, which protects who???

The attorneys!

Lisa said...

You're right, Stand Up, it's all about protecting them. Victims continue to be victimized by bad lawyers because the discipline committees basically do nothing about bad lawyers!

Anonymous said...

In spite of overwhelming court transcripts, the three attorneys involved in Conspiracy to defraud me, were found not to have engaged in professional misconduct by the Oregon Bar Association.
This involved the "Theft" or "Conspiracy" to defraud an aging citizen of her assets, by misappropriating her legally executed probate records to the "oppositition" file. All three involved, are Members of the Oregon State Bar Association. - At the head of this cover-up of Conspracy, fraud and Elder Abuse and Exploitation, it is considered a "Civil" matter by law enforcement.

Is our judiciary headed for anarchy????