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Friday, December 26, 2008

Ethics Hypocrites Disbar Attorney for Reply Failure

Matter of George
2008 NY Slip Op 09993
Decided on December 16, 2008
Appellate Division, Second Department
Per Curiam
Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Decided on December 16, 2008
RUTH C. BALKIN, JJ.                                                         

[*1]In the Matter of Donnahue G. George, an attorney and counselor-at-law. Grievance Committee for the Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts, petitioner; Donnahue G. George, respondent. (Attorney Registration No. 4221586)

DISCIPLINARY proceeding instituted by the Grievance Committee for the Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts. The respondent was admitted to the Bar at a term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department on May 19, 2004.

Diana Maxfield Kearse, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Susan Korenberg of counsel), for petitioner.


PER CURIAM.By decision and order on motion of this Court dated March 27, 2008, the respondent was suspended, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.4(l)(1)(i), upon a finding that he was guilty of serious professional misconduct immediately threatening the public interest based upon his failure to comply with the lawful demands of the Grievance Committee for the Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts (hereinafter the Grievance Committee), the Grievance Committee was authorized to institute and prosecute a disciplinary proceeding against the respondent, and the issues raised were referred to the Honorable Herbert Altman as Special Referee to hear and report. Pursuant to this Court's decision and order on motion dated March 27, 2008, the respondent was directed to submit an answer to the petition within 20 days after service upon him of a copy of that order. The order was served on the respondent on April 2 and April 3, 2008, in the manner designated by the order to show cause dated January 17, 2008, by mailing copies to the address at which he is registered with the Office of Court Administration, the address on his driver's license [*2]and vehicle registration, and the address where his wife currently resides, and by affixing copies to the front door of each of those residences.

The petition contains one charge of professional misconduct alleging that the respondent failed to cooperate with three investigations into allegations of his professional misconduct. Notwithstanding efforts to effect service upon the respondent as authorized by this Court in the order to show cause dated January 17, 2008, the respondent has failed to file an answer as directed by the Court's decision and order on motion dated March 27, 2008. Accordingly, he is in default and the charge against him must be deemed established (see Matter of Anello, 228 AD2d 1). The Grievance Committee thereupon moves for an order adjudicating the respondent in default, deeming the charge established, and directing that the respondent, a suspended attorney, be disciplined upon the charge set forth in the petition. Although served with this motion by mailing copies to the three aforementioned residences and affixing copies to the front door of each of those premises, the respondent failed to reply. Significantly, the respondent failed to submit any opposition to the Grievance Committee's earlier motion, inter alia, to suspend him. He is, thus, in default.

Accordingly, the Grievance Committee's motion is granted, the charge contained in the petition is deemed established and, effective immediately, the respondent is disbarred and his name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law.


ORDERED that the petitioner's motion is granted upon the respondent's default; and it is further,

ORDERED that, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90, effective immediately, the respondent, Donnahue G. George, is disbarred and his name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law; and it is further,

ORDERED that the respondent, Donnahue G. George, shall continue to comply with this Court's rules governing the conduct of disbarred, suspended, and resigned attorneys (see 22 NYCRR 691.10); and it is further,

ORDERED that pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90, the respondent, Donnahue G. George, is commanded to continue to desist and refrain from (1) practicing law in any form, either as principal or agent, clerk, or employee of another, (2) appearing as an attorney or counselor-at-law before any court, Judge, Justice, board, commission, or other public authority, (3) giving to another an opinion as to the law or its application or any advice in relation thereto, and (4) holding himself out in any way as an attorney and counselor-at-law; and it is further,

ORDERED that if the respondent, Donnahue G. George, has been issued a secure pass by the Office of Court Administration, it shall be returned forthwith to the issuing agency and the respondent shall certify to the same in his affidavit of compliance pursuant to 22 NYCRR 691.10(f).

James Edward Pelzer, Clerk of the Court


Anonymous said...

I just read this decision. Is this how they keep the public informed? What a joke. I think the 2nd department was out drinking with Cahill and Cohen from the 1st department 'ethics" committee. I just love using the words "ethics" and "cahill" and "cohen" in the same sentence. Better than viagra.

Oh, and they 'served' the 'wife's house' ?!?!?! What the hell does that mean?

Did they send a copy to his mother too?

You speak too much about closing down the 1st dept ethics committee. SHUT DOWN THE ENTIRE 2nd DEPARTMENT'S 'ethics committee.

Anonymous said...

The pressure must be on. They take out the little fish who didn't pay up in a show trial action.

Anonymous said...

So, Marc Dreier gets suspended but this guy DonnaHugh (?) George passes the step of suspension and just gets disbarred. He must have killed a few people...

Anonymous said...

I bet there is more to this story, but it should be so stated in this order. This is one very badly written order, with no background at all!!!!

Anonymous said...

The "BIG" Lawyers, "Powerful" Lawyers, who are committing the REAL crimes get off free and clear. They just have to pay the hefty fee for the Squash the Complaint or the GET OUT OF JAIL CARD.. The small potatoe, (lawyers) get disbarred, suspended and censured..What the hell are these people smoking, crack? The saying goes, "You show me a poor lawyer, I'll show you and honest one".

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

did they have any choice but not to take action against the lawyer that didn't reply? Maybe that lawyer was smarter than the two Bozos that replied in my case I brought to the Committee.

They confirm everything I claimed. One Bozo even tries to prove to the Committee that he KNEW his witness gave false testimony to the jury in a criminal trial.

The dummy would have been better off if he didn't reply to the summons of the Committee.

The BIG question is: What will the Grievance Committee do about it? The case has been there since July-August of 2007.

You send your complaint and then you respond to the reply of the lawyer you are accusing. You can't call them. They don't return your letters, at least to acknowledge receipt. You make a complaint and I think we can all agree that a citizen has the right to have some sense of what they are doing to investigate your complaint.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that lawyers are the only profession not licensed by the state?

Apparently being an interior designer, LPN or selling eyeglasses is a bigger threat to the citizens of NY.

Anonymous said...

well exactly to the comment above and i hope that is part of what the Related cases in the sdny will break thru the door and walls to establish at the very least what a citizen's right is in that situation.

the First Amendment gives the Constitutional right to petition te govt to address grievances and the State Constitution protects this right as well.

and the US Constitution has a due process and equal protection clause.

but it seems that the equal protection that some enjoy is far different and greater than others especially in the attorney grievance system set up by the state.

so since the state set up this system of grievances, should it not also abide by Constitutional principles?

Anonymous said...

Do bank robbers judge other bank robbers. drug dealers other drug dealers. burglars with other burglars. How many of them would be convicted if this was so.

why is it any difference when a lawyer is asked to judge another lawyer. Forget about a lawyer or a judge investigating a judge.

Why is everything kept secret? It sounds like Gitmo to me.

You make a complaint with the CJC, and they don't give you their name, rank, and serial number. You are speaking to WHOM?

The attorney grievance committee. You speak to no one. For all you know you are communicating with HAL the computer in the movie - 2001. Maybe the Wizard of Oz.

Try calling the FBI and asked to be connected to an agent. I will bet you 9 times out of 10, if not more the agent answers the phone and doesn't give you their names. Didn't tell me anything defense.

Try to FOIL The SIC, an agency replete with political hacks and see what you will get. They will tell you nothing because they probably did NOTHING on your complaint.

When I went there I gave them a menu of complaints. I was told they couldn't speak to me about the complaints because the criminal part of it was under appeal. They were forbidden by law to do so. OK, what can you do. They took out one item and I gave them all I had. During that time they were allegedly investigating, the appeal process ended. Logical question: Can you do it now? Of course I received no response. But they did deem fit to notify the object of my complaint at the same time, or before the same time they notified me that my complaint was without merit.

Anonymous said...

lawyers are licensed by the State, and have to pay a fee every two years. If they don't pay the fee they don't lose their license. They just go on to whatever.

A few years back there were literally thousands of attorneys in NYS that failed to pay their license fees and did so without consequences.

I am told that there are judges that have not officially taken the oath of office, or paid the meager fee to have it entered into the record.

Anonymous said...

I filed a grievance in the ninth judicial and the lawyer charged me to answer it.

Anonymous said...

Re: 12/27 8;41 Were you dumb enough to pay it?

Anonymous said...

Of course I didn't pay it. Instead, I reported it and I relied on the "goodwill" and "ethics" of the 9th judicial grievance committee.

Anyone want to take a guess on how that worked out?????

"Although we found no wrongdoing on the part of the attorney.....we reminded him that it was not proper to charge a fee to answer our committee"

"Even though he did nothing wrong...(wink,wink) we told him to stop doing it anyway."

If they want to save the state some money. Get rid of the grievance committee.

Anonymous said...

The 9th Judicial District Grievance Committee comment above is disturbing to this writer. I have a case before them that has now been more than 18 months in duration. That case they are hopefully investigating was transferred there from the 10th Judicial District after the 10th refused to hear it. That decision to transfer the case only came after I sent a letter sent to me by Chief Judge Kaye that my complaint should be addressed to the 10 judicial. It was only then that the 10th. sent it to White Plains for investigation.

I think the person at the 9th that is charged with this investigation is doing all that he can do to investigate this case. I believe that his investigation has shown that my charges are with merit, and his superiors are trying to find a way to 86 it.

I charged a private attorney of having a conflict of interest in that he represented two clients, and had the latter client offer testimony to the authorities against the interests of his former client. that was done to enhance the prosecutions malicious prosecution of an innocent man.

That attorney has answered those charges and stated that he did NOT represent the former client in the previous case, which I say is related to the case in question, but he only acted as a 'research assistant' for the attorney that represented the former client by the lead attorney. The former client was cited as an unindicted co-defendant in a burglary case on the word of the latter client. He admitted to the Committee that he received a 5K retainer from the former client, and insists he didn't represent him as an attorney, he was just a 'research assistant' that reviewed wiretap evidence in the former clients case in Suffolk County. The 9th is going to have a very difficult time explaining that one should they exonerate the attorney.

The other charge is against the ADA that prosecuted the case of the innocent man that got convicted for burglary, and is now in prison. I charged him with knowingly allowing his witness to give false testimony on the stand and did nothing to correct it when it was offered. That testimony was 100% shown to be false by the defense attorney on cross examination, not by the ADA. He just let it pass.

Incredibly, the ADA tells the jury in his summation that he knew the testimony was false when it was testified to by his witness, a longtime felon. And he gave one of the most logically convuluted explanations to the jury that allowing this man to falsely testify should prove he didn't feed the witness information to falsely testify.

In his reply to the Grievance Committee, the ADA tells them that the defense was aware of this testimony as he gave the defense discovery and rosario material. They should have known it. He tells the Committee that allowing the witness to lie would only enhance the defense case when it was discovered his witness lied. He then goes on to offer evidence that he KNEW the witness was lying by offering the testimony of a police detective (not his detective on the case, but from another case) that that detective knew of the events leading up to the lie, and therefore, his hands are clean. That testimony that he gave the Committee came three days after his witness was caught flat out lying about a person being at the burglary couldn't have been there because he was in a Virginia Jail.

there are numerous court cases, including the US Supreme Court that explicity prohibits this kind of conduct on the part of any attorney, and certainly not a prosecutor.

If the Grievance Committee sees fit to dump this case I will take the advice of the webmaster of this board and send it on to the FBI Public Integrity Unit.

Anonymous said...

To the above..

How does one contact the Public Integrity Unit of the FBI? TIA..

Anonymous said...

About the attorney who charged time for answering the grievance. I even took him to Supreme Court to argue his fees and we went before one of the clowns that was removed in 2006. I had the attorney on the stand and asked him 3 times about this charge stated on his bill. He refused to answer. The judge did nothing. And the end of this hearing the judge had the lawyer adjust his fees as a "clerical error". Btw - I sent this and much more to the FBI White Plains field agent. It is a good thing that I record all of this by voice and transcript.

Anonymous said...

So where is the best place to send our complaints??

I know when the receiver (who stole my house) became aware of the fact that I sent a complaint to the F.B.I. he just laughed. I don't know if he knew that it went to the Melville office.. but in either case... he was unconcerned...

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