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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Attorney, without connections, disbarred

Former Schenectady lawyer disbarred after 2006 conviction
The Albany Times Union by ROBERT GAVIN - November 1, 2008

ALBANY -- A former Schenectady attorney who placed letters, gifts and money at a woman's home, violating an order of protection, has been disbarred. Michael J. Tatko was immediately ordered to stop practicing law in a ruling from the state Appellate Division's Third Judicial Department, which covers the Capital Region. Tatko, a lawyer since 1980, most recently lived in Vermont but his whereabouts are now unknown, the mid-level court said. He was convicted in Washington County in February 2006 of violating the order of protection. Tatko had visited the unidentified woman's home and left a "series of letters, cash and gifts at a woman's residence," the Oct. 23 Appellate Division ruling said, In March 2006, he was fined $1,182, placed on three years probation and ordered to take medication. In January 2008, Tatko was accused of violating his probation by not completing his mental health treatment and leaving the state without permission. When he missed a court hearing, a warrant was issued for his arrest, the Appellate Division ruling said. The ruling noted he did not appear in court or reply to notices in the case. It cited his "conviction of a serious crime, the recent filing of a probation violation petition against him, and his disinterest in his fate as an attorney as evidenced by his lack of response in this matter."

Here's the Court Order:

State of New York, Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department
Decided and Entered: October 23, 2008 D-57-08
___________________________________
In the Matter of MICHAEL J. TATKO, an Attorney.
COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL MEMORANDUM AND ORDER STANDARDS, Petitioner;
MICHAEL J. TATKO, Respondent. (Attorney Registration No. 1755891)
___________________________________
Calendar Date: September 15, 2008 Before: Peters, J.P., Rose, Kane, Kavanagh and Stein, JJ.
__________
Mark S. Ochs, Committee on Professional Standards, Albany (Michael Philip of counsel), for petitioner. Per Curiam.

Respondent was admitted to practice by this Court in 1980 and maintained a law office in the City of Schenectady, Schenectady County. His last known address is in Vermont. On February 28, 2006, respondent was convicted upon his plea of guilty in the County Court of Washington County of one count of criminal contempt in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor (see Penal Law § 215.50 [3]) in satisfaction of a multi count indictment. The relevant count stated that respondent had intentionally disobeyed an order of protection by leaving a series of letters, cash and gifts at a woman's residence. In March 2006, respondent was sentenced to three years of probation and $1,182.90 in restitution, and was required to continue taking-2- D-57-08 his medication. In January 2008, a violation of probation petition was filed because respondent did not successfully complete mental health treatment and he left the state without his probation officer's permission. Shortly thereafter, a warrant was issued for his arrest because he failed to appear for a court hearing. Respondent's current whereabouts are unknown. Respondent has been convicted of a serious crime (see Judiciary Law § 90 [4] [d]; Matter of Adelman, 279 AD2d 1 [2000]). Petitioner moves for imposition of final discipline since respondent has been convicted and sentenced (see Judiciary Law § 90 [4] [g]). The instant motion has been served upon respondent by substituted service pursuant to an order of this Court (see CPLR 308 [5]). Respondent has not replied to or appeared on the motion.

We conclude that, given respondent's conviction of a serious crime, the recent filing of a probation violation petition against him, and his disinterest in his fate as an attorney as evidenced by his lack of response in this matter, petitioner's motion should be granted and respondent disbarred (see e.g. Matter of Pitt, 227 AD2d 1 [1996]).

Peters, J.P., Rose, Kane, Kavanagh and Stein, JJ., concur. ORDERED that petitioner's motion is granted; and it is further ORDERED that respondent is disbarred and his name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law of the State of New York, effective immediately; and it is further ORDERED that respondent is commanded to desist and refrain from the practice of law in any form, either as principal or as agent, clerk or employee of another; and respondent is hereby forbidden to appear as an attorney or counselor-at-law before any court, judge, justice, board, commission or other public authority, or to give to another an opinion as to the law or its application, or any advice in relation thereto; and it is further ORDERED that respondent shall comply with the provisions of -3- D-57-08 this Court's rules regulating the conduct of disbarred attorneys (see 22 NYCRR 806.9). ENTER: Michael J. Novack, Clerk of the Court

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too bad he did not get a hold of Gary I. Greenwald from chester new york. This crook would have given him loopholes and connections immediately..

an attorney who pays his protection money said...

What a dope. Every attorney knows you get to be a target if you don't pay the piper. It's all a numbers game; and you don't want to be a number. Like an insurance policy, you have to make those payments to your friends with friends at the grievance committees. Or else.....bye, bye

Anonymous said...

hey, sounds right but what if you missed the boat the first time out? anyone know how to get back in the game by paying off the right people on the deferred payment plan?

gopher said...

this guy is a poor shlump

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