In re Robbins

Not overruled or negatively treated on appealinfoCoverage
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.Nov 17, 2016
40 N.Y.S.3d 779 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016)
40 N.Y.S.3d 779146 A.D.3d 792016 N.Y. Slip Op. 7766


In the Matter of James A. ROBBINS, (admitted as James Andrew Robbins), an attorney and counselor-at-law: Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, James A. Robbins, Respondent.

Respondent James A. Robbins was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the Second Judicial Department on April 11, 1979 under the name James Andrew Robbins. At all times relevant herein, respondent maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department.

The Departmental Disciplinary Committee seeks an order striking respondent's name from the roll of attorneys, pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(b), on the ground that he has been disbarred upon his conviction of felonies as defined in Judiciary Law § 90(4)(e). Respondent does not oppose the Committee's petition for an order striking his name from the rolls.

On April 13, 2016, respondent pleaded guilty in Supreme Court, New York County, in satisfaction of two separate indictments, to two counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree in violation of Penal Law § 170.25, a class D felony, and one count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree in violation of Penal Law § 175.35, a class E felony. The charges arose out of respondent's efforts to conceal the fact that he had failed to perform legal work in two Surrogate's Court matters that he was handling.

On June 9, 2016, respondent was sentenced, concurrently on all three charges, to a three-year conditional discharge and 500 hours of community service. While not part of the plea conditions, respondent agreed to reimburse funds to two of the victims of his criminal acts.

The crimes to which respondent pleaded guilty are felonies under the laws of this State, and therefore upon his conviction thereof, he ceased to be an attorney by operation of law.

Accordingly, the Committee's petition should be granted, and respondent's name stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law in the State of New York, nunc pro tunc to April 13, 2016.ANGELA M. MAZZARELLI, Justice Presiding, JOHN W. SWEENY, JR., ROLANDO T. ACOSTA, KARLA MOSKOWITZ, ELLEN GESMER, Justices.