In a harshly worded opinion, New York’s Court of Appeals Wednesday ended Brooklyn Surrogate Michael H. Feinberg’s judicial career. It held that his awarding of millions of dollars in attorney fees to a friend without demanding the affidavits required by law constituted removable misconduct.
The court said in a unanimous per curiam opinion that in rubber-stamping, with no oversight, some $8.5 million in estate commissions to attorney Louis R. Rosenthal, Feinberg “demonstrate[d] a shocking disregard for the very law that imbued him with judicial authority.” It rejected with apparent disdain Feinberg’s defense that he had neglected to read the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) and was simply ignorant of his judicial responsibilities.
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