Flashing across my news reader came this from the ABA Journal:
A lawyer for Goldman Sachs has been accused of trying to arrange a sexual tryst with an undercover investigator posing in online chats as a 15-year-old girl.
This, in itself, is not something I would ordinarily cover. He was after all, merely arrested. He has not been convicted of anything.
While the arrested, who is married with three children, certainly has greater issues today than his law license, it is an issue that will come up in a few years if he is convicted.
The question here is: Under New York law, is this a disbarrable offense?
And the answer, apparently, is no. While our appellate courts generally issue unanimous opinions in cases dealing with ethics and lawyer disbarment, last December there was as a sharp divide in an identical case (See: Sex Offender Keeps Law License (Updated)).
The Appellate Division, First Department ruled 3-2 that suspension was in order as opposed to disbarment. You can read the sordid details at the link above.
If this lawyer is convicted of what he was charged with and is not disbarred, it will be yet another example of how the attorney disciplinary system is broken in this country. It is the proverbial fox guarding the hen house.
# posted by Blogger David Wisniewski : July 30, 2009 12:18 PM
I have a friend who was disbarred over a $80 discrepancy in his IOLA (admittedly it was carried over several years of transactions, but none of his clients ever “lost” any money).
# posted by Blogger Tom : July 30, 2009 1:46 PM