Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman created the Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline to conduct a comprehensive review of the state’s attorney disciplinary system to determine what is working well and what can work better, and offer recommendations to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of New York’s attorney discipline process. In connection with its responsibility, the Commission will hold three public hearings to receive the views of interested individuals, organizations and entities.
The hearings will take place as follows:
- July 28, 2015 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., New York State Court of Appeals, 20 Eagle Street, Albany, N.Y. 12207. The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
- Timothy O'Sullivan, Lawyers Fund for Client Protection
- Denise Kronstadt, Esq., Deputy Executive Director/ Director of Advocacy, The Fund for Modern Courts
- Stephen Downs, Esq, formerly the Chief Attorney for the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct
- Janet Silver, president, Albany County Bar Association
- Benjamin Cunningham
- Jennifer Wilkov ("It Could Happen to You")
- David Miranda, president, New York State Bar Association
- Aug. 4, 2015 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Erie County Ceremonial Courtroom, 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo, N.Y. 14202. The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
- Kevin Spitler, president, Erie County Bar Association
- Stephanie Saunders, Minority Bar Association of WNY
- Bill Bastuk, founder and chair, “It Could Happen to You”
- KP Brady, legal consumer from Rochester
- Richard T. Sullivan, partner at Harris Beach, former chair of the Eighth Judicial District Attorney Disciplinary Committee.
- Joel Daniels, attorney in Buffalo
- James Milles, professor of law, SUNY Buffalo
- Posr A. Posr, representative of the Western Mohegan Tribe and Nation
- Chris Kochan, legal consumer from Buffalo
- Aug. 11, 2015 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., New York County Lawyers' Association, 14 Vesey Street, New York, 10007. The following witnesses are scheduled to testify:
- Andrea Bonina and Pery Krinsky, New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Karen Winner, attorney and author
- Deborah Scalise of Scalise, Hamilton & Sheridan in Scarsdale
- Bennett Gershman, professor of Law, Pace Law School
- Daniel Marotta, president, and Allyn Crawford, vice president, Richmond County Bar Association
- Robert Tembeckjian, administrator and counsel, New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct
- Andrea Composto, Women's Bar Association of the State of New York
- Grace Moran, former chief counsel to the 10th Judicial District grievance committee
- Carol Sigmond, president, New York County Lawyers Association
- Paula Edgar, president-elect, Metropolitan Black Bar Association
- J. Richard Supple, New York City Bar Association
- Professor Caprice Alves, Metropolitan College
- Janice Schacter Lintz, legal consumer
- Ellen Oxman, legal consumer
- Alton H. Maddox Jr., attorney
- Elena R. Sassower, director, Center for Judicial Accountability
Among the issues under consideration by the Commission are whether New York’s departmental-based system leads to regional disparities in the implementation of discipline; if conversion to a statewide system is desirable; the point at which disciplinary charges or findings should be publicly revealed; and how to achieve dispositions more quickly in an effort to provide much-needed closure to both clients and attorneys.
The Commission will consider both oral testimony and written submissions. All testimony is by invitation only. If you are interested in being invited to testify at the hearing, please send an e-mail to AttorneyDiscipline@nycourts.gov no later than 14 days in advance of the scheduled hearing at which you propose to testify. Proposed testimony should not exceed 10 minutes in length.
If requesting an invitation, please (1) identify yourself and your affiliation; (2) attach a prepared statement or a detailed outline of the proposed testimony, and specify which, if any, of the topics described above will be addressed, and; (3) indicate at which of the hearings you would like to deliver the testimony. In advance of the hearing, invitations to testify will be issued and will include an approximate time for each presenter's testimony. For those not invited to present oral testimony, the proposed testimony will be deemed a written submission for consideration by the Commission.
Persons unable to attend a hearing or interested in only making a written submission may submit their remarks by e-mail to AttorneyDiscipline@nycourts.gov at least seven days in advance of the hearing, or by mailing the submission to the Commission at:
Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline
c/o The Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge
25 Beaver Street
New York, N.Y. 10004-2310
Please note that any materials, submissions or statements provided to the Commission are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law and subject to publication by the Office of Court Administration.
For further information and updates, please visit the Commission’s webpage at www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/discipline/