November 1, 2012
This responds to your inquiry (12-131) asking whether you are ethically obligated to report an attorney to the Grievance Committee for submitting false affidavits of actual engagement.
A judge who receives information indicating a substantial likelihood that a lawyer has committed a substantial violation of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct must take appropriate action (see 22 NYCRR 100.3[D]). The Committee has previously advised that appropriate action” may be something less than reporting the attorney to the governing disciplinary authority. In addition, the particular judge must determine whether an attorney’s conduct seriously calls into question the attorney’s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness to practice law, in which case the judge must report the conduct to the governing disciplinary authority, or whether some lesser action is sufficient (see Opinion 10-85).
Enclosed, for your convenience is Opinion 10-85, which sets forth in detail a judge’s disciplinary obligations pursuant to 22 NYCRR 100.3(D)(2).
Very truly yours,
George D. Marlow,
Assoc. Justice (Ret.)
Appellate Division, First Dept.