Disciplinary Defense Attorney in New York
Representation in Professional Misconduct and Grievance Matters
Being accused of professional misconduct is serious. If found guilty of a client complaint or any violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, an attorney could be disbarred, suspended or face other severe consequences. It is crucial to have somebody on your side who knows the grievance process inside and out and will defend you when facing grievance or disciplinary proceedings.
Chris McDonough is a lawyer who provides New York attorneys exceptional representation based upon over 30 years of experience exclusively in the field of professional ethics. He has extensive experience defending lawyers facing charges of serious' professional misconduct. Contact our office today to speak with one of our disciplinary defense lawyers in New York.
Disciplinary Defense Case Types
A disciplinary dispute can arise based on any accusation that a lawyer did not adhere to professional rules of conduct, violated the law, was neglectful of their clients, misused funds, and many other issues. Accusations are often brought forward by clients, but may also come from other lawyers, firm management, professional organizations, media sources, etc.
A disciplinary defense may focus on situations such as:
- Conversion or co-mingling of escrow
- Dishonesty and fraud
- Mismanagement of accounts
- Neglect of a client or case
- Failure to use written retainers
- Conflicts of interest
- Sexual relations with clients
- Criminal charges
The Disciplinary Defense Process
Attorney disciplinary proceedings in New York are before the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court. Each Appellate Division has one or more grievance committees assigned to specific jurisdictions. Committees include attorneys as well as non-attorneys who volunteer to help uphold the standards of the legal profession. Each committee office has a professional staff of attorneys and investigators to investigate grievance complaints and prosecute disciplinary matters.
A person who submits a grievance about a lawyer must file their complaint formally, in writing. Committees also have sua sponte authority to institute their own investigations. The appropriate committee will review the allegations and evaluate their validity, as well as the severity of the accusations. Each complaint is reviewed and, where appropriate, the subject attorney will be notified and have the opportunity to respond to the claims. More serious cases can result in formal disciplinary proceedings before the Appellate Division. These matters are tried before a special referee appointed by the court and are akin to Article 4 special proceedings.
Ultimate decisions can be either public or private. Public decisions issuing a sanction can be devastating to an attorney's career as they are searchable online indefinitely. Even a private sanction can have severe consequences, as they are considered notice to change your practice and will increase any future sanction issued. They can also have a negative impact on future judicial hopes and result in an increase in your malpractice policy costs.
Contact Us to Learn More
We understand how disorienting it can be to face grievances and disciplinary action. Our legal team is here to support you and provide guidance during this difficult time. Contact us for more information about the strong representation we can offer you.
We have handled hundreds of disciplinary hearings before the various appellate divisions. We can help you achieve the best possible result under the circumstances. The McDonough & McDonough team is here to assist you.