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Attorney Grievance Committees



Annual Report - 2017

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: 1/01/17 - 12/31/17


I. Matters Processed:*    
A. Matters Pending at Start of Period 375
B. New Matters During Period 1725  
C. Closed Matters Reactivated During Period 18  
D. Total Matters to be Processed During Period (A+B+C)   2118
E. Total Matters Disposed of During Period   1715
F. Matters Pending at End of Period   403
     
II. Matters Disposed of by Committee: Cases** Matters
A. Rejected as Failing to State a Complaint 775 939
B. Referred to Other Disciplinary Committees 106 108
C. Referred to Other Agencies 2 2
D. Dismissed or Withdrawn 349 411
E. Dismissed through Mediation 0 0
F. Letter of Advisement 109 137
G. Letter of Admonition 21 34
H. Admonition (or reprimand) 0 0
I. Referred to Appellate Division (Disc. Proc) 50 84
Total Disposed of During Period (Same as I.E.) 1412 1715
     
III. Cases Processed in all Courts:**    
A. Cases Pending at Start of Period   112
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 16  
     2. Other 96  
B. Cases Received During Period   50
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 16  
     2. Other 34  
C. Total to be Processed During Period   162
D. Cases Closed    
     1. Disbarred 1  
     2. Disciplinary Resignations 2  
     3. Suspended *** 77  
     4. Censured 2  
     5. Private Censure 0  
     6. Remanded to Grievance Committee 3  
     7. Discontinued 18  
     8. Dismissed 4  
     9. Reinstatements Granted 3  
     10. Reinstatements Denied 1  
     11. Non-Disciplinary Resignations 10  
     12. All other Dispositions 4  
     13. Total Closed 125  
E. Total Cases Pending at End of Period 37  
     1. Disciplinary Proceedings 22  
     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

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Committee Meetings 6 6 5 4 4 4 5 5 4 5
Attorney Appearances 25 27 19 20 14 15 19 17 13 18
Caution Letters 32 33 44 41 46 47 40 49 41 0
Advisement Letters                   44
Admonition Letters 10 14 4 7 12 1 10 11 5 7
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 8 12 9 9 8 8 4 7 6 8
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 631 634 638 739 495 550 534 484 541 486




SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Committee Meetings 6 5 4 5 5 4 4 5 4 4
Attorney Appearances 18 16 13 17 11 8 11 16 6 11
Caution Letters 44 42 47 44 33 44 46 71 39 0
Advisement Letters                   25
Admonition Letters 6 7 5 6 4 3 9 15 4 8
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 17 6 6 13 6 7 9 5 4 3
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 638 739 630 666 613 572 757 595 647 635




EIGHTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Committee Meetings 4 5 5 4 5 4 3 4 3 4
Attorney Appearances 16 18 21 13 16 16 14 18 5 13
Caution Letters 82 89 63 74 74 59 39 73 56 0
Advisement Letters                   40
Admonition Letters 10 11 11 5 5 9 6 8 4 6
Petitions Referred to the Appellate Division 2 10 5 5 11 7 10 10 2 4
Complaints Received - (Includes Reopened Complaints) 1,405 1,177 944 898 837 647 833 581 697 622