As of June 24, 2021, the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York and New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is no longer permitted to practice law in the State of the New York.
In a decision issued by the First Department of New York’s Appellate Division, the Court concluded “that there is uncontroverted evidence that [Giuliani] communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers, and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.”
In its thirty-two page decision, the Court found that Giuliani’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election violated the New York Rules of Professional Conduct in that he made a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal (Rule 3.3), knowingly made a false statement of fact or law to a third person while representing a client (Rule 4.1), and engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and that adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer (Rule 8.4).
Giuliani did not dispute that his statements regarding widespread voter fraud were false, but instead argued that he did not know that his statements were false at the time that he made them. The Court, however, found no proof to substantiate this explanation, as he was unable to identify a source for the false information.
Since the Court found that Giuliani’s conduct threatens the public interest, they granted interim suspension prior to a hearing taking place. After a hearing, Giuliani’s suspension may be upheld, or he may be reinstated to the practice of law.
The opinion states that the Attorney Grievance Committee, the government body that prosecutes cases of attorney misconduct within New York, requested interim suspension from the Court in the course of “numerous” complaints submitted against Giuliani by members of the public.
One such complaint was issued by the New York State Bar Association, which was authored by Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz partner Ronald Minkoff, included signatures from many major players in the New York legal ethics community, including Stephen Lessard, the then-President of the New York County Lawyers’ Association (“NYCLA”) as well as TRR Partner Lewis Tesser who is a former President of NYCLA and the founder of its Ethics Institute.
(Photo credit Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 2.0).