"DISHONESTY, DECEIT AND/OR MISREPRESENTATIONS”Admitted to practice in 1987, "R," an attorney up in Albany was subject to disciplinary action for mismanaging her escrow account. Apparently, the woman conceded that she “misappropriated funds entrusted to her by a client.”
Interestingly, the attorney did not deny that she had placed client funds in her personal account and had failed to forward the proceeds of a property transaction “for more than two weeks after the closing.” Additionally, the attorney conceded that her conduct involved “dishonesty, deceit and/or misrepresentations,” in violation of the state's ethics rules.
In a decision released in December of last year, the Appellate Division, Third Department, noted that the attorney had a history of this type of misconduct, and not only been previously suspended for two years, but had received “admonitions, and letters of caution and education for similar conduct underlying this set of charges.”
Yet despite her prior lapses, and the “severity of misconduct,” the attorney was only suspended from the practice of law for three years.
While the attorney presented “mitigating factors,” (like “longstanding health issues, full restitution made to the client and her retirement from the practice of law”), you’d think a stronger sanction would have been warranted under the circumstances, no?
We don't think the AD3 showed much discipline there.
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