22 CRR-NY 1240.7NY-CRR
22 CRR-NY 1240.7
22 CRR-NY 1240.7
1240.7 Proceedings before committees.
(1) Investigations of professional misconduct may be authorized upon receipt by a committee of a written original complaint, signed by the complainant, which need not be verified. Investigations may also be authorized by a committee acting sua sponte.
(2) The complaint shall be filed initially in the Judicial Department encompassing the respondent’s registration address on file with the Office of Court Administration. If that address lies outside New York State, the complaint shall be filed in the Judicial Department in which the respondent was admitted to the practice of law or otherwise professionally licensed in New York State. The committee or the court may transfer a complaint or proceeding to another department or committee as justice may require.
(b) Investigation; disclosure.
The chief attorney is authorized to:
(1) interview witnesses and obtain any records and other materials and information necessary to determine the validity of a complaint;
(2) direct the respondent to provide a written response to the complaint, and to appear and produce records before the chief attorney or a staff attorney for a formal interview or examination under oath;
(3) apply to the clerk of the court for a subpoena to compel the attendance of a person as a respondent or witness, or the production of relevant books and papers, when it appears that the examination of such person or the production of such books and papers is necessary for a proper determination of the validity of a complaint. Subpoenas shall be issued by the clerk in the name of the presiding justice and may be made returnable at a time and place specified therein; and
(4) take any other action deemed necessary for the proper disposition of a complaint.
The chief attorney shall provide to the respondent a copy of any complaint not otherwise disposed of pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section within 60 days of receipt of that complaint. Prior to the taking of any action against a respondent pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2)(iv), (v) or (vi) of this section, the chief attorney shall provide the respondent with the opportunity to review all written statements and other documents that form the basis of the proposed committee action, excepting material that is attorney work product or otherwise deemed privileged by statute or case law, and materials previously provided to the committee by the respondent.
(1) Disposition by the chief attorney.
(i) The chief attorney may, after initial screening, decline to investigate a complaint for reasons including but not limited to the following:
(a) the matter involves a person or conduct not covered by this Part;
(b) the allegations, if true, would not constitute professional misconduct;
(c) the complaint seeks a legal remedy more appropriately obtained in another forum; or
(d) the allegations are intertwined with another pending legal action or proceeding. The complainant shall be provided with a brief description of the basis of any disposition of a complaint by the chief attorney.
(ii) The chief attorney may, when it appears that a complaint involves a fee dispute, a matter suitable for mediation, or a matter suitable for review by a bar association grievance committee, refer the complaint to a suitable alternative forum upon notice to the respondent and the complainant.
(2) Disposition by the committee. After investigation of a complaint, with such appearances as the committee may direct, a committee may take one or more of the following actions:
(i) dismiss the complaint by letter to the complainant and to the respondent;
(ii) when it appears that a complaint involves a fee dispute, a matter suitable for mediation, or a matter suitable for review by a bar association grievance committee, refer the complaint to a suitable alternative forum upon notice to the respondent and the complainant;
(iii) make an application for diversion pursuant to section 1240.11 of this Part;
(iv) when the committee finds that the respondent has engaged in conduct requiring comment that, under the facts of the case, does not warrant imposition of discipline, issue a letter of advisement to the respondent;
(v) when the committee finds, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that the respondent has engaged in professional misconduct, but that public discipline is not required to protect the public, maintain the integrity and honor of the profession, or deter the commission of similar misconduct, issue a written admonition to the respondent, which shall clearly state the facts forming the basis for such finding, and the specific rule or other announced standard that was violated. Prior to the imposition of an admonition, the committee shall give the respondent 20 days’ notice by mail of the committee’s proposed action and shall, at the respondent’s request, provide the respondent an opportunity to appear personally before the committee, or a subcommittee thereof, on such terms as the committee deems just, to seek reconsideration of the proposed admonition.
(vi) when the committee finds that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent engaged in professional misconduct warranting the imposition of public discipline, and that such discipline is appropriate to protect the public, maintain the integrity and honor of the profession, or deter others from committing similar misconduct, authorize a formal disciplinary proceeding as set forth in section 1240.8 of this Part.
(3) As may be permitted by law, the complainant shall be provided with a brief description of the basis of any disposition of a complaint by the committee.
(1) Letter of advisement.
(i) Within 30 days of the issuance of a letter of advisement, the respondent may file a written request for reconsideration with the chair of the committee, with a copy to the chief attorney. Oral argument of the request shall not be permitted. The chair shall have the discretion to deny reconsideration, or refer the request to the full committee, or a subcommittee thereof, for whatever action it deems appropriate.
(ii) Within 30 days of the final determination denying a request for reconsideration, the respondent may seek review of a letter of advisement by submitting an application to the court, on notice to the committee, upon a showing that the issuance of the letter was in violation of a fundamental constitutional right. The respondent has the burden of establishing a violation of such a right.
(2) Admonition. Within 30 days of the issuance of an admonition, the respondent may make an application to the court, on notice to the committee, to vacate the admonition. Upon such application and the committee’s response, if any, the court may consider the entire record and take whatever action it deems appropriate.
(3) Review of dismissal or declination to investigate. Within 30 days of the issuance of notice to a complainant of a chief attorney’s decision declining to investigate a complaint, or of a committee’s dismissal of a complaint, the complainant may submit a written request for reconsideration to the chair of the committee. Oral argument of the request shall not be permitted. The chair shall have the discretion to grant or deny reconsideration, or refer the request to the full committee, or a subcommittee thereof, for whatever action it deems appropriate.
(4) As permitted by law, a respondent or complainant who has submitted a request for review pursuant to this section shall be provided with a brief description of the basis for the determination of such request. In the event that such review results in a change in the outcome of a determination, any respondent or complainant adversely affected thereby shall be provided with a brief description of the basis for the determination.
22 CRR-NY 1240.7
Current through May 31, 2021
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