Roll Call by Diana Szochet

The Following Attorneys Were Disbarred By Order Of The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department:

Bret Jay Davis (September 18, 2013)
By order filed on December 28, 2005, the Supreme Court of California disbarred the respondent, and struck his name from the roll of attorneys, following a prior order of suspension, which required him to make restitution to six clients for a combined total of $20,150 in unearned legal fees, and to one client for a $950 fee he charged and collected illegally. The respondent also was required to notify his clients, and his adversaries, of his suspension, and to file a declaration of his compliance. When the respondent failed to file the required declaration, a further disciplinary proceeding was commenced, charging him with willfully disobeying an order the court. He thereafter was disbarred on default. Upon the Grievance Committee’s application for reciprocal discipline pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.3, the respondent was disbarred in New York.

Michael Stewart Lazarowitz (September 18, 2013)
The respondent tendered an affidavit of resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against allegations that he failed to safeguard funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary, incident to his practice of law.

Howard Marc Sklar (September 18, 2013)
The respondent tendered an affidavit of resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against pending charges of failing to fully and timely cooperate with the Grievance Committee; neglecting a legal matter; engaging in a conflict of interest; and failing to comply with the rules pertaining to the maintenance of escrow accounts by, inter alia, failing to promptly deliver funds to a person entitled to receive them, failing to preserve client funds, commingling, making cash withdrawals, and failing to maintain bookkeeping records.

Matthew Burstein (September 25, 2013)
On July 26, 2012, the respondent was found guilty, after a jury trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, of one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1349, two counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1343, and seven counts of bank fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1344. Inasmuch as the federal felony of bank fraud is essentially similar to the New York felony of grand larceny in the second degree, a class C felony in violation of Penal Law § 155.40, and scheme to defraud in the first degree, a class E felony in violation of Penal Law § 190.65, the respondent was automatically disbarred, and ceased to be an attorney, effective July 26, 2012.

Alan M. Rocoff, a suspended attorney (October 2, 2013)
The respondent tendered an affidavit of resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against disciplinary charges predicated upon his plea of guilty before the Honorable John P. Walsh, in the Supreme Court, Kings County, to petit larceny, a class A misdemeanor in violation of Penal Law § 155.25.

Jasleen K. Anand, admitted as Jasleen Kaur Anand (October 23, 2013)
The respondent proffered an affidavit of resignation wherein she acknowledged, inter alia, that she could not successfully defend herself on the merits against pending charges that she misappropriated funds or other property belonging to another person, failed to maintain complete records of all funds of a client or third person coming into her possession or render appropriate accounts to the client or third person, disbursed estate funds to herself and/or her law firm without authorization, failed to maintain required bookkeeping records for an estate, failed to keep a client reasonably informed of the status of a matter, and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation.

Thomas F. Bello (October 23, 2013)
The respondent proffered an affidavit of resignation wherein he acknowledged, inter alia, that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against pending charges that he engaged in a pattern of neglecting legal matters entrusted to him (two counts), engaged in a pattern of failing to maintain adequate communication with his clients (two counts), failed to comply with numerous court directives, and failed to timely satisfy the terms of a settlement agreement.

Ray Alfred Jones, Jr. (November 13, 2013)
On October 25, 2012, the respondent entered a plea of guilty in the Supreme Court, Kings County (Walsh, J.) to one count of grand larceny in the second degree, a class C felony in violation of Penal Law § 155.40. His subsequent motion to withdraw the plea was granted on December 20, 2012. On January 29, 2013, the respondent entered another plea of guilty to one count of grand larceny in the second degree, in the same court (Chun, J.) During his allocution, the respondent admitted that, between April 10, 2007, and April 13, 2007, he stole property with an aggregate value in excess of $50,000 from the complainant. On March 25, 2013, he was sentenced, inter alia, to a term of imprisonment of 1 1/3 to 4 years. By virtue of his felony conviction, the respondent was automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a). Accordingly, the Grievance Committee’s motion to strike the respondent’s name from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b), was granted to reflect the respondent’s automatic disbarment on January 29, 2013.

Christopher K. Kuehn (November 13, 2013)
The respondent proffered an affidavit of resignation wherein he acknowledged, inter alia, that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against allegations that he misappropriated funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary for his own use and benefit.

Matter of Joel A. Grossbarth, admitted as Joel Allann Grossbarth, a suspended attorney (November 20, 2013)
Following a disciplinary proceeding, and a further decision and order of the Court dated November 2, 2011, authorizing the Grievance Committee to file a supplemental petition of charges against the respondent, he entered a plea of guilty, on March 19, 2013, to two counts of grand larceny in the second degree, a class C felony in violation of Penal Law § 155.40, and one count of forgery in the second degree, a class D felony in violation of Penal Law § 170.10. By virtue of his felony conviction, the respondent was automatically disbarred and ceased to be an attorney, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a). Accordingly, the Grievance Committee’s motion to strike the respondent’s name from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b), was granted to reflect the respondent’s automatic disbarment as of March 19, 2013, and the pending proceedings were discontinued.

The Following Attorneys Were Suspended From The Practice of Law By Order Of The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department:

Katherine Z. Pope, a suspended attended (September 18, 2013)
On or about November 15, 2011, before the Honorable Stephen L. Braslow, in the County Court, Suffolk County, the respondent entered a plea of guilty to the crime of identity theft in the third degree, a class A misdemeanor in violation of Penal Law § 190.78. By decision and order on motion of the Appellate Division dated May 22, 2012, the respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law based upon her conviction of a serious crime. Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of having engaged in illegal conduct reflecting on her honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. She was suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years, effective immediately.

John D’Emic, a suspended attorney (October 2. 2013)
On October 1, 2009, the respondent pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court, Queens County, to a violation of Judiciary Law § 491, a misdemeanor, which prohibits the sharing of compensation by attorneys with non-lawyers. By decision and order of the Appellate Division dated April 22, 2010, the respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law based upon his conviction of a serious crime. Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of professional misconduct, in that he was convicted of a serious crime; knowingly sharing his attorney fees with an attorney whom he knew was disbarred; authorizing the proceeds of the sale of real property owned by his client to be redistributed to third parties without his client’s authorization; and making misrepresentations to a government entity. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years, effective immediately, with no credit for the time elapsed under the interim order of suspension.

Percy A. Randall, Jr., a suspended attorney (October 2, 2013)
On or about February 3, 2011, the respondent pleaded guilty before the Honorable Robert C. McGann, in the Supreme Court, Queens County, to criminal facilitation in the fourth degree, a class A misdemeanor in violation of Penal Law § 115.00, as a result of his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme in which stolen identities were used to buy and sell properties in Queens.. By decision and order of the Appellate Division dated December 11, 2011, the respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law based upon his conviction of a serious crime. Following a disciplinary proceeding, the respondent was found guilty of having been convicted of a serious crime. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years, effective immediately.

Learie Richard Wilson (October 2, 2013)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud and misrepresentation, which adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer, as a result of aiding and abetting a client in deceiving a lender at a real estate closing by withholding material information from the lender, and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud and misrepresentation, which adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer, by exercising a lack of candor with the Grievance Committee. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year, commencing November 1, 2013.

Francis Gregory McClure (October 11, 2013)
The respondent was suspended from the practice of law pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.13(a) effective immediately and for an indefinite period and until the further order of the Appellate Division, based upon a judicial determination of his incompetence and his commitment to a mental health treatment facility.

Robert C. Fontanelli, admitted as Robert Carl Fontanelli (October 18, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.4(l)(1)(i) and (iii) upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest as a result of his failure to cooperate with the Grievance Committee, and other uncontroverted evidence of professional misconduct, to wit, misappropriation of clients’ funds, and the Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against him.

Susan Friedman Odery, admitted as Susan Eileen Friedman (October 22, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.4(l)(1)(iii) upon a finding that she posed an immediate threat to the public interest as a result of uncontroverted evidence of professional misconduct, to wit, misappropriation of client funds and fabrication of evidence, and the Grievance Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against her.

Glen D. Hirsch (October 23, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.4(l)(1)(i) upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest as a result of his failure to cooperate with the Grievance Committee in its investigation of bounced check notices, received by them pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1300, and the Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against him.

Thomas C. Sledjeski, admitted as Thomas C. Sledjeski, II (October 23, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.4(l) (1) (i), (ii) and (iii) upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest as a result of his failure to cooperate with the Grievance Committee, his substantial admissions under oath, and other uncontroverted evidence of professional misconduct, to wit, conduct involving, inter alia, dishonesty, deceit, fraud or misrepresentation, and the Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against him.

Robert A. Bertsch, a suspended attorney (October 30, 2013)
Following a disciplinary proceeding, the respondent was found guilty of having engaged in illegal conduct that adversely reflects on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer, as a result of his federal conviction for misprision of a felony, to wit, securities fraud. In consideration of the financial and other hardships the respondent has endured as a result of his conviction, and the absence of remorse, he was suspended from the practice of law for a period of three years, commencing immediately.

Michael J. DeFelippo, admitted as Michael John DeFilipo (November 1, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.4(l) (1) (i) upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest as a result of his failure to cooperate with the Grievance Committee in its investigation of a complaint of professional misconduct against him, and the Grievance Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a supplemental disciplinary proceeding. (By prior decision and order of the Court dated December 31, 2012, the Grievance Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against the respondent based upon a petition of charges dated June 1, 2012.)

Joseph G. Scali, admitted as Joseph Girard Scali (November 25, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.4(l) (1) (i) upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest as a result of his failure to cooperate with the Grievance Committee, and the Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a supplemental disciplinary proceeding against him. (By prior decision and order of the Court dated November 2, 2011, the Grievance Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against the respondent, based upon a petition of charges dated July 22, 2011.)

Paul D. Sirignano, admitted as Paul Davis Sirignano (November 25, 2013)
On September 27, 2012, the respondent entered a plea of guilty before the Honorable Douglas M. Kraus, Judge of the New Castle Town Court, Westchester County, to attempted criminal tax fraud in the fourth degree, a class A misdemeanor, in violation of Tax Law § 1803 and Penal Law § 110. On May 9, 2013, a judgment and order of restitution was entered against the respondent in the amount of $44,019. He was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(f) as a result of his conviction of a “serious crime,” and the Grievance Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against him, based upon the foregoing conviction.

The Following Attorneys Were Publicly Censured By Order Of The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department:

Jeffrey Charles Daniels (September 25, 2013)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of converting funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary for a use other than that for which they were intended; issuing a check payable to cash from his attorney trust account; and engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on his fitness to practice law by reason of the foregoing. In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the Appellate Division noted the conversion of funds was “not made with venal intent. Rather, [it was] the result of negligent oversight by the respondent of his attorney trust account…”

Anne McGrane (September 25, 2013)
On or about August 10, 2011, the respondent was convicted, upon her plea of guilty, of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, an unclassified misdemeanor in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1192(3), based upon an incident that occurred in November 2009. Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of engaging in illegal conduct that adversely reflects on her honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer. In determining an appropriate measure of discipline to impose, the Appellate Division considered, inter alia, the absence of charges concerning the respondent’s practice of law, the respondent’s successful completion of a rehabilitation program, and the respondent’s sincere remorse, statements that she has remained sober, and her determination not to abuse alcohol in the future. However, the respondent’s opposition notwithstanding, the Court also took into account her prior history of alcohol related offenses. In addition, in August 2011, the respondent was convicted of disorderly conduct, a violation under Penal Law § 240.20(7), and harassment in the second degree, a violation under Penal Law § 240.26.

Henry Lung (October 23, 2013)
Following a disciplinary proceeding, the respondent was found guilty of compensating a non-lawyer for recommending a client, and rewarding a non-lawyer for having made such a recommendation, resulting in employment of the respondent by a client, and sharing a legal fee with a non-lawyer. In consideration of impressive evidence of the respondent’s good moral character and his generous charitable donations, as well as his prior disciplinary history, the respondent was publicly censured.

James W. Miskowski, admitted as James William Miskowski (October 23, 2013)
By corrected order of the Supreme Court of New Jersey dated March 8, 2011, the respondent was publicly reprimanded in that state based on his violation of rule 1.15(a) of the New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct (hereinafter the RPC) for failing to safeguard client funds, as well as rule 1.15(d) of the RPC and rule 1:21-6 of the New Jersey Court Rules for record-keeping violations. Upon the Grievance Committee’s application for reciprocal discipline pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.3, the respondent was publicly censured in New York.

Roger A. Nehrer (December 4, 2013)
Following a disciplinary proceeding, the respondent was found guilty of engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, which reflects adversely on his fitness as a lawyer, as a result of his failure to file biennial registration statements with the Office of Court Administration, and pay the designated fees, for the seven consecutive registration periods beginning with 1999-2000, and failing to cooperate with the Grievance Committee in its investigation of the same. He was publicly censured.

The Following Suspended Or Disbarred Attorneys Were Reinstated As Attorneys And Counselors-At-Law By Order Of The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department:

Charles Berkman, a suspended attorney
(October 2, 2013)

Michael L. Previto, a disbarred attorney
(October 9, 2013)

Francis B. Mann, Jr., a suspended attorney
(November 13, 2013)

Michael John Wynne, a suspended attorney
(November 13, 2013)

Sansan Symone Fung, a voluntary resignor
(November 27, 2013)

Carl H. Smith, a disbarred attorney
(November 27, 2013)

© 2013 Brooklyn Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted By Permission of the Brooklyn Bar Association.