Attorney Does Nothing about Disciplinary Charges and Gets Suspension for Not Cooperating; Still Does Nothing and is Disbarred

Case: In the Matter of Joseph J. Mainiero (Departmental Disciplinary Committee)

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York

Date: 7/1712

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Brooklyn and Queens; Queens accident lawyer)

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Facts: This is a lawyer disciplinary case, where a naughty lawyer is punished for doing bad thing. Penalties can be a slap on the wrist, or as bad as suspension of the lawyer's license to practice law for months or years, to loss of the license (disbarment).

A lawyer can also get an immediate suspension for failing to cooperate with a disciplinary investigation. This is the case here.

The attorney took fees from client and, for unknown reasons, did no work.

When the disciplinary authorities contacted him in response to complaints, he made excuses.

Time and again he was given opportunities to tell his side of the story, but kept blowing his chances. The case is a blueprint as to how hard the authorities tried to contact him, using mail and phone and investigators.

Held: This attorney's unwillingness to comply with the disciplinary authorities evidences a danger to the public and he is immediately suspended, pending the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding against him.

Update: On June 18, 2013 attorney Joseph J. Mainiero was disbarred for doing nothing about his interim suspension for six months. Thus, the disciplinary authorities didn't have to reach the merits of the client complaints against this lawyer. He is disbarred and loses his law license.

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