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Attorney Grievance Committees



Annual Report - 2016

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: 1/01/16 - 12/31/16


I. Matters Processed:*    
A. Matters Pending at Start of Period 336
B. New Matters During Period 1872  
C. Closed Matters Reactivated During Period 13  
D. Total Matters to be Processed During Period (A+B+C)   2221
E. Total Matters Disposed of During Period   1846
F. Matters Pending at End of Period   375
     
II. Matters Disposed of by Committee: Cases** Matters
A. Rejected as Failing to State a Complaint 773 936
B. Referred to Other Disciplinary Committees 93 94
C. Referred to Other Agencies 1 1
D. Dismissed or Withdrawn 423 447
E. Dismissed through Mediation 0 0
F. Letter of Caution 115 129
F.1. Letter of Advisement 11 14
G. Letter of Admonition 13 18
H. Admonition (or reprimand) 0 0
I. Referred to Appellate Division (Disc. Proc) 188 207
Total Disposed of During Period (Same as I.E.) 1617 1846
     
III. Cases Processed in all Courts:**    
A. Cases Pending at Start of Period   31
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 23  
     2. Other 8  
B. Cases Received During Period   188
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 10  
     2. Other 178  
C. Total to be Processed During Period   219
D. Cases Closed    
     1. Disbarred 6  
     2. Disciplinary Resignations 4  
     3. Suspended *** 11  
     4. Censured 2  
     5. Private Censure 0  
     6. Remanded to Grievance Committee 1  
     7. Discontinued 12  
     8. Dismissed 2  
     9. Reinstatements Granted 11  
     10. Reinstatements Denied 1  
     11. Non-Disciplinary Resignations 52  
     12. All other Dispositions 5  
     13. Total Closed 107  
E. Total Cases Pending at End of Period 112  
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 16  
     2. Other 96  
     

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

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Committee Meetings 4 6 6 5 4 4 4 5 5 4
Attorney Appearances 14 25 27 19 20 14 15 19 17 13
Caution Letters 37 32 33 44 41 46 47 40 49 41
Admonition Letters 5 10 14 4 7 12 1 10 11 5
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 8 8 12 9 9 8 8 4 7 6
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 597 631 634 638 739 495 550 534 484 541




SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Committee Meetings 5 6 5 4 5 5 4 4 5 4
Attorney Appearances 17 18 16 13 17 11 8 11 16 6
Caution Letters 45 44 42 47 44 33 44 46 71 39
Admonition Letters 2 6 7 5 6 4 3 9 15 4
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 18 17 6 6 13 6 7 9 5 4
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 630 638 739 630 666 613 572 757 595 647




EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Committee Meetings 6 4 5 5 4 5 4 3 4 3
Attorney Appearances 21 16 18 21 13 16 16 14 18 5
Caution Letters 65 82 89 63 74 74 59 39 73 56
Admonition Letters 12 10 11 11 5 5 9 6 8 4
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 11 2 10 5 5 11 7 10 10 2
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 1,034 1,405 1,177 944 898 837 647 833 581 697