Roll Call by Diana Szochet

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

Gerard M. Tanella, a suspended attorney (January 9, 2013)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of, inter alia, breaching his fiduciary duty; failing to safeguard funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary allowing one or more non-attorneys to exercise control over his law practice; giving false and/or misleading testimony and written answers to the Grievance Committee; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, deceit, fraud, and/or misrepresentation, which adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law; undertaking representation in a matter that he knew or should have known he was incompetent to handle; neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him; and engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice, which reflects adversely on his fitness to practice law. Previously, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law by order of the Appellate Division, Second Department dated May 12, 2011, upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest based upon his substantial admissions under oath and other uncontroverted evidence of professional misconduct.

Michael Sprei, a suspended attorney (January 30, 2013)
The respondent tendered a resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against allegations that he converted funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary. Previously, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law by order of the Appellate Division, Second Department dated January 6, 2012, upon a finding that he was guilty of serious professional misconduct immediately threatening the public interest based upon his substantial admissions under oath and other uncontroverted evidence of serious professional misconduct.

David M. Green (February 6, 2013)
The respondent tendered a resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against allegations that he induced a client to mortgage certain real property and give him the proceeds of that mortgage, under false pretenses, after which he misappropriated same, and that he arranged for another mortgage to be placed on the client’s property, without the client’s knowledge or consent, and misappropriated the proceeds of that mortgage as well.

Christopher George Lazarou (February 6, 2013)
By orders of the Supreme Court of Georgia dated September 19, 2005, and the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County, Massachusetts, entered July 24, 2008, the respondent was disbarred in Georgia and Massachusetts, respectively.  Upon the application of the Grievance Committee pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.3, to reciprocally discipline the respondent in New York, the respondent was disbarred.

David Allen Linn, (February 6, 2013)
The respondent tendered a resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against pending charges that he failed to preserve funds in his escrow account; failed to remit said funds to his client; failed to handle an appeal entrusted to him for which he was paid a retainer; misled the client concerning the appeal on numerous occasions; failed to obtain the balance of settlement funds due to a client; and failed to cooperate with the Grievance Committee. The respondent further acknowledged that he would not be able to successfully defend himself on the merits against additional allegations that he converted funds from multiple real estate transactions.

Neal H. Sultzer (March 6, 2013)
The respondent tendered a resignation in which he admitted that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against pending charges that he engaged in professional misconduct by participating in real estate transactions on behalf of a client when he knew the client was engaging in illegal or fraudulent conduct.

Robert Michael Ibraham (March 13, 2013)
On January 11, 2012, the respondent pleaded guilty in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, to eight counts of residential mortgage fraud in the second degree, a class C felony in violation of Penal Law Section 190.65(1)(b). Pursuant to Judiciary Law Section 90(4), the respondent was automatically disbarred effective January 11, 2012, based upon his conviction of a felony.

Deborah K. Rice, admitted as Deborah Karen Gerstein (April 10, 2013)
On or about March 26, 2009, the respondent pleaded guilty in the United District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to two counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1341, and one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1343, both federal felonies. By order dated April 29, 2010, the Supreme Court of Florida disbarred the respondent, effective January 11, 2010. By Opinion dated March 1, 2010, the Supreme Court of Georgia accepted the respondent’s voluntary surrender of her license to practice law, which was tantamount to disbarment under Georgia State Bar Rule 4-110(f). Both disciplinary actions were predicated upon the respondent’s federal conviction. Upon the Grievance Committee’s application pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.3 to impose reciprocal discipline, the respondent was disbarred in New York, effective immediately.

Daniel J. Fox, admitted as Daniel James Fox (April 24, 2013)
The respondent tendered a resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against potential charges predicated upon his temporary suspension from the practice of law in New Jersey.

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

Anthony C. Donofrio (January 9, 2013)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of misappropriating and/or failing to preserve funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years, effective February 8, 2013, and continuing until the further order of the Court. By further decision and order of the Court dated March 22, 2013, the effective date of the respondent’s suspension was adjourned until April 22, 2013, solely for the purpose of winding down his practice with respect to existing matters and clients.

Robert A. Macedonio, admitted as Robert Anthony Macedonio, a disbarred attorney (January 9, 2013)
By opinion and order of the Appellate, Second Department dated August 25, 2009, the respondent was disbarred based on his conviction of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, a class D felony in violation of Penal Law Section 220.06(5), and his name was struck from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, effective December 9, 2008. On January 6, 2012, the Honorable James Hudson, County Suffolk County, pursuant to a negotiated plea, granted the respondent’s motion to vacate his felony conviction and accepted in its place a plea to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a class A misdemeanor in violation of Penal Law Section 220.03. In a decision and order of the Appellate Division dated April 23, 2012, the respondent’s prior disbarment was vacated; the respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant Judiciary Law Section 90(4) (f) as a result of his conviction of a serious crime; and a disciplinary proceeding was authorized. Following a hearing, the Appellate Division suspended the respondent from the practice of law for a period of two years, nunc pro tunc to December 9, 2008, and immediately reinstated him.

Kenneth J. Gellerman (January 23, 2013)
The respondent was suspended from the practice of law, pending further order of the Court, upon a finding that he was guilty of professional misconduct immediately threatening the public interest based upon a pattern and practice of converting client funds, and a disciplinary proceeding was authorized.

Raghubir K. Gupta, a disbarred attorney (March 8, 2013)
Motion by the respondent to, inter alia, vacate an opinion and order of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department dated June 8, 2010, which struck his name from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law, as a result of his felony conviction on October 26, 2009, which conviction was vacated by an amended opinion of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals dated November 8, 2012 (see United States v. Gupta, 699 F3d 682). The respondent’s motion was granted to the extent that the opinion and order dated June 8, 2010, which disbarred him, was vacated, and the Court, on its own motion, the respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law based on the acts of professional misconduct underlying the criminal allegations, and a disciplinary proceeding was authorized.

Joell Barnett, admitted as Joell Carol Barnett (March 12, 2013)
On November 22, 2011, the respondent pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Buchwald, J.) to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1349, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, in violation of 18 USC 1349. The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to Judiciary Law Section 90(4) (f), pending further order of the Appellate Division, as a result of her conviction of a serious crime, and a disciplinary proceeding was authorized.

James G. Carroll (March 13, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further order of the Court, based upon his substantial admissions under oath and other uncontroverted evidence of professional misconduct.

Efrain Ramos, Jr. (March 13, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further order of the Court, based upon his failure to cooperate with the Grievance Committee in its investigation of multiple complaints against him, and a disciplinary proceeding was authorized.

Richard J. Zimmerman (March 27, 2013)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of failing to safeguard escrow funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary, incident to his practice of law; engaging in conduct involving deceit, dishonesty, and misrepresentation; failing to withdraw from representing a client in a transaction in which he knew that continued representation would cause him to engage in deceitful conduct; making false and/or misleading statements to the Grievance Committee; and failing to maintain ledger books or similar records of deposits into and withdrawals from his IOLA accounts. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of two years, effective April 26, 2013, and continuing until further order of the Court.

Alexander Herman (April 1, 2013)
The respondent was suspended on a voluntary basis pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.1(c) based on his contention that he suffers from a mental infirmity, until a determination is made by a qualified medical expert as to his capacity to practice law.

Michael Levitis, a suspended attorney (April 10, 2013)
On March 1, 2011, the respondent pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Ross, J.) to one count of making a false statement, in violation of 18 USC 1001 (a) (2), a federal felony. By order of the Appellate Division, Second Department dated January 24, 2012 the respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law pursuant to Judiciary Law Section 90(4) (f), pending further order of the Appellate Division, based upon his conviction of a serious crime. Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of six months, nunc pro tunc to January 24, 2012, with leave to apply for reinstatement immediately.

Yana Schtindler (April 17, 2013)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of failing to safeguard escrow funds entrusted to her as a fiduciary, incident to her practice of law; failing to maintain a ledger book or similar record of deposits into and withdrawals from her attorney escrow account; knowingly making false and/or misleading statements to the Grievance Committee; improperly conditioning the payment of funds, to which a third party was entitled, upon the withdrawal of the party’s complaint to the Grievance Committee; failing to adequately supervise her paralegal; and improperly authorizing a non-attorney to be a signatory on her escrow account. She was suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year, effective May 17, 2013, and continuing until the further order of the Court.

Derek P. McDowell (April 26, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended, pending further proceedings, upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the pubic interest based upon his failure to cooperate with the lawful demands of the Grievance Committee.

Neal Stuart Spector (May 13, 2013)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further proceedings, upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest based upon his failure to cooperate with the Grievance Committee.

Keith D. Erlington, admitted as Keith Dalton Erlington (May 17, 2003)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further proceedings, upon a finding that he posed an immediate threat to the public interest based upon  his substantial admissions under oath and other uncontroverted evidence that he committee an act or acts of serious professional misconduct.

Anthony C. D’Onofrio (May 22, 2013)
Upon the respondent’s motion to stay of much of the opinion and order of the Appellate Division dated January 9, 2013 as, inter alia, suspended him from the practice of law for a period of two years, pending determination of his appeal from the opinion and order to the Court of Appeals, the motion was denied as academic in light of the dismissal of the appeal, and the respondent’s suspension from the practice of law was ordered to commence May 23, 2013, and to continue until further order of the Court.

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

James N. Hulme, admitted as James Norton Hulme (January 9, 2013)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was publicly censured upon a finding that he was guilty of engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on his fitness as a lawyer; conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; and conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice.

Robert B. Armstrong, admitted as Robert Britton Armstrong (March 13, 2013)
By Memorandum Order of the Disciplinary Board of the Virginia State Bar, entered June 21, 2010, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law in Virginia for a period of 30 days, as a result of his having pled “no contest” on December 3, 2008, to misdemeanor sexual assault. Upon the Grievance Committee’s application pursuant to 22 NYCRR 6913 to impose reciprocal discipline, the respondent was publicly censured in New York.

Marvin Blakely (April 24, 2013)
Upon the Grievance Committee’s application for reciprocal discipline pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.3, the respondent was publicly censured in New York based upon his having been reprimanded in New Jersey by order of the New Jersey Supreme Court dated January 25, 2012.

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

Barry R. Feerst, admitted as Barry Roy Feerst (January 9, 2013)
William F. Rothman, admitted as William Frederick Rothman (January 9, 2013)
Andrew Bryant Livernois (January 10, 2013 [effective February 4, 2013])
Jeffrey Bettan (January 23, 2013)
Christopher T. Maffia (January 23, 2013)
Shea Elizabeth Fitzekam (January 23, 2013)
Diana M. Vargas, admitted as Diana Monica Vargas (January 23, 2013 [effective February 4, 2013])
Virginia R. Iaquinta-Snigur (March 13, 2013)
Kevin B. Dwyer (March 27, 2013)
Scott B. Feiden, admitted as Scott Bruce Feiden, a suspended attorney (April 24, 2013)
Patricia M. Cavanaugh, admitted as Patricia Marie Cavanaugh, a suspended attorney (May 29, 2013)

© 2013 Brooklyn Bar Association. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of the Brooklyn Bar.

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