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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Disbarred Attorney Seeks to Overturn Raw DDC Deal

Disbarred Attorney Seeks to Overturn 'Raw, Raw Deal'
The New York Law Journal by Brendan Pierson  -  November 7, 2011

Martin S. Streit, a former Manhattan attorney who was disbarred last month for practicing while suspended, said he will seek reconsideration of the decision. "I got a raw, raw deal," he said of the penalty, adding that "I'm a good lawyer. I like to help people."  Mr. Streit, 84, was disbarred by a unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, on Oct. 25 (NYLJ, Nov. 3). He had been suspended for six months in July 2010 for neglecting a client matter, although the First Department disciplinary committee had recommended a suspension of one year. In November 2010, a judicial hearing officer and a state judge separately told the disciplinary committee that Mr. Streit had appeared before them, violating his suspension. The penalty for practicing law while suspended is automatic disbarment.  Mr. Streit, whose career had focused on representing indigent clients in criminal and immigration cases, said on Thursday that he has filed a motion for reconsideration, with a return date of Nov. 18. He is seeking to have his penalty reduced to censure. He said he did not believe he was treated fairly or given a chance to present his side during the disciplinary process, and that he had been a victim of age discrimination. He said he was asked by an attorney for the disciplinary committee at one point why he did not retire.  Mr. Streit said he appeared once while suspended only to adjourn a case, and once because he was physically threatened by parties in the case, a criminal matter.  Mr. Streit said he would consider filing a discrimination suit in federal court.

-----Related/Background Story:

Attorney Disbarred for Practicing While Suspended
The New York Law Journal by Brendan Pierson  -  November 3, 2011

An elderly Manhattan attorney has been disbarred for continuing to practice law during his six-month suspension for neglecting a client matter.  A unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, last week disbarred Martin S. Streit, granting a motion by its disciplinary committee.  Mr. Streit, who was admitted to practice in New York in 1956 and is now in his 80s, was suspended for six months in July 2010, though the disciplinary committee at that time had recommended a harsher penalty.  In November 2010, Kings County Family Court Judicial Hearing Officer Anne G. Feldman informed the disciplinary committee that Mr. Streit had appeared before her. Then in December 2010, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Frank P. Nervo (See Profile) also reported that Mr. Streit had appeared in a case before him. The committee moved to disbar Mr. Streit, the automatic penalty for practicing law while suspended.  "In view of his default in filing an affidavit of compliance, and his failure to contest clear evidence of his violation of the order of suspension, respondent is subject to disbarment without further proceedings," the court ruled in In the Matter of Martin S. Streit, M-2467.  The panel consisted of Justices Peter Tom, David B. Saxe, John W. Sweeny Jr., James M. Catterson and Sheila Abdus-Salaam.  Mr. Streit's disciplinary troubles began in April 2008, when the committee served him with six charges in connection with alleged neglect of a client matter over a period of 14 years, according to the 2010 decision imposing the six-month suspension. That panel included Justices Tom, Saxe Sweeny, Catterson and also Justice Eugene L. Nardelli.  Three of the 2010 charges alleged that he failed to produce a client file in response to a subpoena by the disciplinary committee and more generally failed to cooperate with the committee's investigation. One of the charges was for failure to register with the Office of Court Administration from 2006 to 2007. Mr. Streit later paid his registration fees for the period, making that charge moot.  The other two charges concerned his alleged neglect of a client matter, going back to 1992, when he was hired by Audrey Holmes, the victim of a car accident, to represent her in a personal injury action. Mr. Streit filed her claim in 1995. Ms. Holmes later married one of the defendants in her lawsuit, Willie Williams, the driver of the car in which she was a passenger when the accident occurred. Mr. Williams died in 1999.  In 2004, the judge in the personal injury suit directed Ms. Holmes to seek appointment of a personal representative of Mr. Williams and advised her that if she did not do so within 120 days, her suit would be dismissed.  Ms. Holmes failed to seek appointment of a personal representative and two of the defendants moved to dismiss the case in 2005. The day before the motion's return date, Mr. Streit requested an adjournment, saying he was involved in a criminal trial, had been suffering from various health problems and had lost Ms. Holmes' file in the course of moving offices. The court dismissed the case for default in March 2005.  Mr. Streit filed a notice of appeal with the First Department, Appellate Term, but never perfected it.  In February 2005, while the motion to dismiss was pending, Ms. Holmes filed a complaint against Mr. Streit. She said that she had been in contact with him only three times since her suit had been filed and that he had not returned any of her calls since December 2004.  According to the 2010 disciplinary, In the Matter of Martin S. Streit, M-3349, over the course of the next two years Mr. Streit failed to respond to the committee's requests for documents and information and failed to appear numerous times for depositions. When he finally appeared for a deposition in 2007, he told the committee that he had not received any communications from Ms. Holmes or from the committee; that he had kept Ms. Holmes apprised of the status of her case, except for a period when she "disappeared down south"; and that his failure to move more quickly with the case was due to his heavy criminal case load. Mr. Streit's practice consisted largely of indigent criminal and immigration matters according to the 2010 decision.  The committee in 2010 recommended a one-year suspension. It said that it had considered Mr. Streit's long career, work for indigent clients and his service in the Navy during World War II. It noted that his past disciplinary record consisted of one admonishment, for waiting five years to seek a deposition. It also said it believed his failures were less likely to be willful but more the result of disorganization. Nonetheless, the committee said Mr. Streit should face a substantial penalty.  The court found a six-month suspension was appropriate. "While respondent's many years of practice, and his military service cannot be overlooked, it is evident that he neglected the matter entrusted to him over a very lengthy period of time, and was less than candid and cooperative when the investigation was ongoing," the panel said.  Mr. Streit sought to appeal to the Court of Appeals, alleging age discrimination, but his motion for leave to appeal was denied.  Staff attorney Scott D. Smith was counsel to the committee in the motion for disbarment.  Mr. Streit, who represented himself, did not return a call for comment.  Brendan Pierson can be contacted at


another DDC victim said...

Nothing the Manhattan attorney ethics committee does is legitimate until such time that Sherry Cohen and Thomas Cahill are arrested and sent to jail.

Anonymous said...

This guy's an old timer. I bet he has a lot of dirt on the players in the corrupt system of law in New York. GET HIM TO TALK.

Hell's Journal said...

Hey, Mr. Streit: It's time for a payback. Make a list of the corrupt at the courthouse and post it on line. Name names. Link it here in comments and then it'll spread. You know how corrupt they all are and finishing your career as a good guy might help in the next life. Otherwise, you'll get together with them later in Hell.

Anonymous said...

If the First Dept. disbarred him he must be OK since the First Dept. are corrupt as sin! Give this guy a medal and the First Dept. jail cells

Anonymous said...

NY Law Journal should do some checking on cases and "law" as the First Dept, Second, Third, Fourth Depts have multiple cases where allegedly "practicing law" while suspended does not lead to automatic disbarment.


Anonymous said...

What's this guy complaining about? Just because he's disbarred doesn't mean he has to stop practicing law.

Joseph Tringali, jr. was disbarred years ago, yet set-up shop in New Rochelle and has been publicly advertising for years. Just google him. Many listings for his services as an attorney.

How many more disbarred attorneys are there out there, practicing in plain sight?
Joseph Tringali Jr Attorney
270 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801-5136

as of 11/08/2011

Registration Number: 2507432

United States

Year Admitted in NY: 1992
Appellate Division Department of Admission: 2
Registration Status: Resigned from bar - disciplinary reason

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