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Court Decides Whether to Disbar a Lawyer


In October 1993, a lawyer, a member of the New York Bar was arrested at 9pm on a street corner in the Bronx. He was arrested and charged with criminal crack cocaine possession.
In June 1998, the same lawyer was apprehended by police officers at a street corner after he purchased crack cocaine. A New York Criminal Lawyer said he was charged with criminal crack cocaine possession. He was later sentenced to three years’ probation. Also in June 1998, the lawyer was arrested and charged with obstructing governmental administration. He was sentenced to three years’ probation as well. At that time, the lawyer offered a New York police officer a sum of money in exchange for the dropping of the drug crime charged against him.

He was also charged under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a law that regulates the conduct of members of the Bar. He was charged with engaging in conduct detrimental to the administration of justice. He was also charged with engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on his fitness to practice law. Aside from his criminal conviction, being a member of the Bar, he also faced other civil consequences of his arrest and conviction by way of an administrative hearing to determine his fitness to continued membership in the New York Bar.

A Special Referee was named to receive evidence and to submit his recommendations to the Court. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the Special Referee sustained all the six charges against the lawyer. For this reason, the Grievance Committee of the Bar Association moves for the admission of the findings of fact and recommendation of the Special Referee and also moves for the disbarment of the lawyer.
The lawyer did not oppose the Grievance Committee except that he seeks a two year suspension from the practice of law instead of the heavy penalty of disbarment. He claims that disbarment would result only in his further emotional distress and lack of a means to support himself.

The question before the Court is whether or not the ultimate penalty of disbarment should be meted out to the erring member of the New York Bar.

The member asked the Court to consider with leniency his appeal not to be disbarred. He cites the fact that this is the first ever disciplinary action against him. He also claims that he is undergoing drug rehabilitation as part of the conditions of his probation. He proudly claims that he has been sober and drug-free since December 1998. A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said that he also claims that up until his arrest and conviction, he had been an upstanding and law-abiding member of the New York Bar.
He also argues for leniency and points to the fact that in his arrest and conviction, he did not harm any of his clients by the misconduct charged against him. To evade the civil consequences of his arrest which in this case is disbarment, he claims that he has had long-standing depression and his drug dependency stems from his depression. He claims that prior to his arrest, his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. His wife has abandoned him after his arrest. He also claims that his emotional health was not at its peak following his divorce when it was followed by his 42 year old brother’s sudden death of a heart attack.

The Court sympathized with the emotional and psychological problems of the lawyer but the Court also noted that upon the lawyer’s arrest he was hospitalized. He checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice and promptly overdosed.

A New York Drug Possession Lawyer argues that his drug overdose after he left the hospital was what prompted him to speak with the arresting police officer. He was not himself, he claimed, when he offered the police officer a sum of money just to let the charges of criminal crack cocaine possession be dropped.

The Court held that despite the evidence that serves to excuse his conduct, the fact is that his arrest and conviction on two separate occasions for criminal crack cocaine possession proves that he is unfit for further membership in the Bar. A New York Sex Crimes Lawyer said he offered to bribe a New York Police officer. This conduct goes straight to the heart of the integrity of the justice and judicial system.
The lawyer was disbarred.

Are you a lawyer who was arrested for criminal crack cocaine possession? Are you facing disbarment? You need representation in Court by a Bronx Drug Crime Attorney. A Bronx Drug Crime Lawyer can help you prepare a defence or plea bargain. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, their Bronx Drug Crime Lawyers are ready to help defend you. Their Bronx Drug Crime Attorneys can help you make the most of your day in court. Call any of the offices of Stephen Bilkis and Associates today.

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