new york city bar admission lawyer


In New York State, authority over the conduct of attorneys rests with the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court and the discipline and grievance committees (the "committees") appointed by that court. The committees are made up of both attorneys and non-attorneys, working with a court-appointed, state financed, full-time professional staff. Each committee investigates the complaints received by it or, in some cases, refers the complaint to a county bar association for resolution. Complaints must be in writing, and if the complaint describes conduct which would be considered improper, if proved, the attorney against whom the complaint is made must respond to the complaint in writing. If the committee determines after investigation that the attorney's conduct was improper, it can send the attorney a letter of caution, admonition or reprimand, advising him or her of the impropriety of the conduct. These letters are not made public, but are retained as part of the attorney's record. The complainant is advised if action is taken. In cases of serious misconduct, the committee may refer the matter to court for action. If the court, after a hearing by a disciplinary panel or referee, decides to take disciplinary action against that attorney, the decision customarily is made public.

As practicing Attorneys, we know that these complaints can come from anywhere and are often absolutely without merit. While this may be true, it is important to address them as soon as possible. This includes filing a response and presenting our position at a hearing if necessary. While the attorneys that hear these cases are sympathetic to the daily pressures of legal work, they must be given the utmost candor and cooperation. If you have received an ethics complaint, contact us at 917-519-8417 and let us speak for you.