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Attorney Grievance Committees



Annual Report - 2014

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: 1/01/14 - 12/31/14


I. Matters Processed:*    
A. Matters Pending at Start of Period 475
B. New Matters During Period 2093  
C. Closed Matters Reactivated During Period 31  
D. Total Matters to be Processed During Period (A+B+C)   2599
E. Total Matters Disposed of During Period   1951
F. Matters Pending at End of Period   648
     
II. Matters Disposed of by Committee: Cases** Matters
A. Rejected as Failing to State a Complaint 910 1061
B. Referred to Other Disciplinary Committees 100 105
C. Referred to Other Agencies 0 0
D. Dismissed or Withdrawn 426 463
E. Dismissed through Mediation 0 0
F. Letter of Caution 117 141
G. Letter of Admonition 21 37
H. Admonition (or reprimand) 0 0
I. Referred to Appellate Division (Disc. Proc) 85 144
Total Disposed of During Period (Same as I.E.) 1659 1951
     
III. Cases Processed in all Courts:**    
A. Cases Pending at Start of Period   29
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 20  
     2. Other 9  
B. Cases Received During Period   85
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 22  
     2. Other 63  
C. Total to be Processed During Period   114
D. Cases Closed    
     1. Disbarred 3  
     2. Disciplinary Resignations 0  
     3. Suspended *** 16  
     4. Censured 4  
     5. Private Censure 0  
     6. Remanded to Grievance Committee 5  
     7. Discontinued 2  
     8. Dismissed 2  
     9. Reinstatements Granted 3  
     10. Reinstatements Denied 2  
     11. Non-Disciplinary Resignations 35  
     12. All other Dispositions 6  
     13. Total Closed 78  
E. Total Cases Pending at End of Period 36  
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 21  
     2. Other 15  
     

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

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Committee Meetings 4 4 3 4 6 6 5 4 4 4 5
Attorney Appearances 13 14 15 14 25 27 19 20 14 15 19
Caution Letters 26 21 76 37 32 33 44 41 46 47 40
Admonition Letters 4 8 5 5 10 14 4 7 12 1 10
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 8 5 11 8 8 12 9 9 8 8 4
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 584 601 577 597 631 634 638 739 495 550 534




SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Committee Meetings 3 5 3 5 6 5 4 5 5 4 4
Attorney Appearances 12 15 7 17 18 16 13 17 11 8 11
Caution Letters 39 35 30 45 44 42 47 44 33 44 46
Admonition Letters 5 3 5 2 6 7 5 6 4 3 9
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 6 12 15 18 17 6 6 13 6 7 9
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 758 766 736 630 638 739 630 666 613 572 757




EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Committee Meetings 6 6 7 6 4 5 5 4 5 4 3
Attorney Appearances 22 28 39 21 16 18 21 13 16 16 14
Caution Letters 78 90 108 65 82 89 63 74 74 59 39
Admonition Letters 7 11 17 12 10 11 11 5 5 9 6
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 9 9 21 11 2 10 5 5 11 7 10
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 927 1,387 4,211 1,034 1,405 1,177 944 898 837 647 833