A Staten Island attorney who did not divulge his plea to misdemeanor drunken driving in his bar application has been suspended for six months.
When applying in 2010, Borislav Chernyy replied in the negative to a question that asked whether he had ever been “cited, arrested, taken into custody, charged with, indicted, convicted or tried for, or pleaded guilty to” any felony, misdemeanor or violation apart from minor parking infractions.
But two years earlier, Chernyy pleaded guilty in Brooklyn Criminal Court to driving while intoxicated, an unclassified misdemeanor.
In May 2012, the grievance committee served Chernyy with a petition alleging one charge of professional misconduct for making “a materially false statement and/or deliberately fail[ing] to disclose a material fact.”
Chernyy asked for public censure, noting factors like his cooperation in the proceedings, his regret and ability to learn from the misstep. Furthermore, Chernyy noted his “excellent reputation” and his status as a refugee from Ukraine.
But the Appellate Division, Second Department, on Wednesday noted Chernyy also did not disclose the conviction when applying to Thomas Cooley School of Law or when transferring to the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.
The panel said Chernyy “testified that he knew that his conduct at the time to be ethically and morally wrong, but that he really wanted to gain admission to law school, and also feared that disclosure of his conviction would result in a denial of his application for admission to the Bar. The Court considers these multiple omissions to be an aggravating factor.”
Chernyy was represented by Michael S. Ross of Manhattan, who said in an interview that Chernyy “deeply appreciates the treatment he has received by the courts and looks forward to restarting his career in the future.” Melissa Broder represented the grievance committee.
Presiding Justice Randall Eng and Justices William Mastro, Reinaldo Rivera, Peter Skelos and Sandra Sgroi decided Matter of Chernyy, 2012-05170. The decision is on page 6.