This case deals with the respondent Lewis Novod who is an attorney and counselor at law. The petitioner in the matter is the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division, and First Department.
The respondent, Lewis Novod was admitted to practice law in the state of New York by the First Department, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the state of New York on the 14th of October, 1972. The respondent has maintained his practice of law in the First Judicial Department.
On the 26th of September, 1989 the respondent was found guilty by a jury trial of committing wire fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as perjury. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison for these crimes with an execution staved pending appeal, three years of probation with confinement to his home for the first six months after being released, and a fine of $3000 as well as a special assessment of $50 for each of the 21 counts for which he was convicted.
The petitioner in this case the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, has moved to strike the respondents name from the roll of attorneys that are allowed to practice in the state of New York. The Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, bases their petition on the fact that the respondent has been convicted of a felony crime. This conviction under section 1623, 18 of the United States Constitution results in an automatic disbarment according to section 90 of Judiciary law.
The respondent has noted that his prison sentenced has been stayed pending an appeal. He states that there is a likelihood that the will have success with the appeal. The respondent argues that a reversal of his case would likely result in a new trial for the perjury charges that were made against him. For this reason is requesting that the court to postpone this application pending the appeal or in the alternative to suspend his license rather than disbar him.
The court has repeatedly held that 18 of the United States Constitution has a direct analogue in regard to the New York State Penal Law section 210.
In cases such as this it is factual that according to Judiciary Law any attorney that has been convicted with a felony charge shall at the very least have their license to practice law suspended. In cases of perjury, disbarment is automatic.
In this case the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department is requesting that the respondents name be stricken from the roll of attorneys that are allowed to practice law in the State of New York. Even though the case against the respondent is in appeal, we are granting the petition to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department. The respondent has been found guilty on 21 counts of fraud and perjury. This constitutes enough evidence against the respondent to have him disbarred.
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