Two suspended attorneys who did not respond to the disciplinary proceedings filed against them have been disbarred by a Brooklyn appellate court.
The Appellate Division, Second Department on Wednesday disbarred Neal Spector and Michael J. DeFilippo last week in two separate rulings.
Spector was suspended in May 2013 after failing to pay a $250 sanction imposed about a year and a half earlier. The sanction related to Spector’s failure to attend a Second Department settlement program on a case he appealed.
DeFilippo was suspended in November 2013 after a client complained he failed to complete basic estate planning and asset protection work, and did not refund any part of his fee or the client’s documents. DeFilippo opposed interim suspension and denied committing professional misconduct. He said he suffered various medical problems, awaited surgery, and was under a doctor’s orders to stay “as stress-free as possible.”
Responding to the grievance committee would have been “a major stressor,” DeFilippo said, but agreed to respond to the committee, as well as deliver the completed work to the client. In its suspension order, the Second Department said he did neither.
In the disbarment order, which also mentioned other misconduct allegations such as making misrepresentations in court, the panel said DeFilippo failed to respond to a grievance committee motion for default after the suspension had occurred.
Presiding Justice Randall Eng (See Profile) and Justices Reinaldo Rivera (See Profile), Peter Skelos (See Profile), Leonard Austin (See Profile) and William Mastro (See Profile) decided Matter of DeFilippo, 2012-05346, with Kathryn Donnelly Gur-Arie appearing for the grievance committee.
Justices Eng, Rivera, Mark Dillon, Ruth Balkin and Jeffrey Cohen decided Matter of Spector, 2013-01978.
Nancy B. Gabriel appeared for the grievance committee in Spector’s case.