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Attorney Grievance Committees



Annual Report - 2015

The Attorney Grievance Committees are authorized to investigate, review, and prosecute complaints of attorney misconduct within the Fourth Judicial Department, pursuant to Judiciary Law, §90 and Section 1022.19 of the Rules of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department (22 NYCRR §1022.19). The Grievance Committees also serve to protect the public, educate the bar and preserve the integrity of the legal profession. The Committees have jurisdiction over approximately 14,000 lawyers within a 22-county geographic area with three district offices, located in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Each District has its own Grievance Committee comprised of 21 volunteer members, including three non-lawyers. Serious allegations of misconduct are reviewed by the Committee and forwarded to the Appellate Division for disposition and/or trials.



ATTORNEY DISCIPLINARY ACTIVITIES

FOURTH JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT

PERIOD COVERED: 1/01/15 - 12/31/15


I. Matters Processed:*    
A. Matters Pending at Start of Period 649
B. New Matters During Period 1646  
C. Closed Matters Reactivated During Period 14  
D. Total Matters to be Processed During Period (A+B+C)   2309
E. Total Matters Disposed of During Period   1973
F. Matters Pending at End of Period   336
     
II. Matters Disposed of by Committee: Cases** Matters
A. Rejected as Failing to State a Complaint 787 957
B. Referred to Other Disciplinary Committees 84 86
C. Referred to Other Agencies 4 6
D. Dismissed or Withdrawn 432 511
E. Dismissed through Mediation 0 0
F. Letter of Caution 181 212
G. Letter of Admonition 30 44
H. Admonition (or reprimand) 0 0
I. Referred to Appellate Division (Disc. Proc) 116 157
Total Disposed of During Period (Same as I.E.) 1634 1973
     
III. Cases Processed in all Courts:**    
A. Cases Pending at Start of Period   35
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 21  
     2. Other 14  
B. Cases Received During Period   116
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 23  
     2. Other 93  
C. Total to be Processed During Period   151
D. Cases Closed    
     1. Disbarred 6  
     2. Disciplinary Resignations 1  
     3. Suspended *** 44  
     4. Censured 5  
     5. Private Censure 0  
     6. Remanded to Grievance Committee 6  
     7. Discontinued 15  
     8. Dismissed 5  
     9. Reinstatements Granted 8  
     10. Reinstatements Denied 3  
     11. Non-Disciplinary Resignations 26  
     12. All other Dispositions 1  
     13. Total Closed 120  
E. Total Cases Pending at End of Period 31  
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 23  
     2. Other 8  
     

For the purposes of this report, the term "Matters" includes the following:

1 - Complaints

2 - Inquiries (Excluding telephone inquiries)

3 - Sua Sponte Investigations

* Matters represents individual complaints and inquiries

** Cases refers to the number of respondent/attorneys. As some attorneys are subject of multiple complaints the number of matters may exceed the number of cases.

*** Includes definite, interim and indefinite suspensions.



FIFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Committee Meetings 3 4 6 6 5 4 4 4 5 5
Attorney Appearances 15 14 25 27 19 20 14 15 19 17
Caution Letters 76 37 32 33 44 41 46 47 40 49
Admonition Letters 5 5 10 14 4 7 12 1 10 11
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 11 8 8 12 9 9 8 8 4 7
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 577 597 631 634 638 739 495 550 534 484




SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Committee Meetings 3 5 6 5 4 5 5 4 4 5
Attorney Appearances 7 17 18 16 13 17 11 8 11 16
Caution Letters 30 45 44 42 47 44 33 44 46 71
Admonition Letters 5 2 6 7 5 6 4 3 9 15
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 15 18 17 6 6 13 6 7 9 5
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 736 630 638 739 630 666 613 572 757 595




EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Committee Meetings 7 6 4 5 5 4 5 4 3 4
Attorney Appearances 39 21 16 18 21 13 16 16 14 18
Caution Letters 108 65 82 89 63 74 74 59 39 73
Admonition Letters 17 12 10 11 11 5 5 9 6 8
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 21 11 2 10 5 5 11 7 10 10
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 1,211 1,034 1,405 1,177 944 898 837 647 833 581