Eric Schneiderman, New York’s former Attorney General, resigned from his post in 2018 amid accusations of physical abuse by four women. Following his resignation, the Attorney Grievance Committee, the office that investigates and prosecutes attorneys in cases of alleged misconduct, filed a petition against Mr. Schneiderman asking the Court to impose sanctions (which can either be a public censure, suspension, or disbarment).
Schneiderman and the Grievance Committee agreed on a settlement for a one-year suspension which was approved by the court in 2021.
After serving the one-year suspension, Mr. Schneiderman moved for reinstatement to the practice of law. On September 6, 2022, the Appellate Division of New York’s Supreme Court granted Mr. Schneiderman’s motion, allowing him to return to the practice of law. The Grievance Committee did not oppose Mr. Schneiderman’s motion.
Although a suspension may be for a set period of time, like Mr. Schneiderman’s, the Court still has the discretion whether to reinstate attorneys after that time has passed. Generally, applications for reinstatement are granted after the suspension period is over; however, they may be denied if the attorney has engaged in subsequent misconduct or has not taken steps to rectify their initial misconduct.
Anyone can file a complaint against an attorney with the Grievance committee—not just their clients. In Mr. Schneiderman’s case, the Grievance Committee opened an investigation sua sponte, in other words, of their own accord. If you are considering filing a complaint against an attorney, or if you are an attorney against whom a complaint has been filed, attorneys experienced in professional ethics matters can help guide you through the process.
Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP is experienced with the attorney disciplinary process. We welcome your calls to discuss your matter. We can be reached at (212) 754-9000.