A longtime Waterbury attorney has been suspended from practicing law for one year for misrepresenting to his client that he had filed an application for disability benefits.
Jason Lipsky, an attorney for 21 years who specialized in criminal defense, personal injury, residential real estate and probate matters, was suspended from practicing law on Oct. 30 by Milford Superior Court Judge Peter Brown. The suspension runs through Oct. 30, 2019.
The ethics case was part of a monthly report released this week on attorneys who have been disciplined by the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
According to court documents, Lipsky was supposed to have filed an application for Social Security disability insurance for Southington resident Paul Cavalieri.
Cavalieri, who has multiple sclerosis, said Lipsky repeatedly assured him that his application had been filed but that there was a backlog in the system. Cavalieri said, in fact, Lipsky never filed the application, and wrote in his complaint against the attorney that Lipsky also gave him wrong information about his work capabilities.
“He advised me to work as long as I could because Social Security doesn’t care if you continue to work during the application process, which I didn’t know at the time was totally false,” Cavalieri wrote in his complaint against Lipsky.
In one of his last emails to Lipsky demanding to know the status of his case, Cavalieri wrote: “I don’t know if you are extremely busy, or if you haven’t received my emails or not, but I need some answers as to what is going on with my Social Security disability insurance application. … It’s been nine months since I applied, and to be honest, I’m running out of patience. After Aug. 30, I will have to start paying for insurance and will no longer have any kind of income. … Someone in your office needs to make a phone call and wake them up.”
James Ruane, Lipsky’s new employer, told the Connecticut Law Tribune Friday that Lipsky has remorse.
“He did something wrong and he is apologetic and broken up about it. He admitted culpability when confronted about it,” said Ruane of Shelton-based Ruane Attorneys at Law. “He is an exceptional attorney, but he is not good with keeping time management. He wants to help people, so he says yes to every case, sometimes cases he should not have as a solo.”
Lipsky, who has known Ruane for about 20 years, recently joined him at his firm as an associate.
“The conduct happened prior to his employment with us. We are happy no offense occurred on our watch,” Ruane emphasized. “This is a really unfortunate situation that a lot of lawyers find themselves in, and Jason is no exception.”
Ruane said Lipsky is currently on suspension from his firm, but said he has asked the court to decide whether he can be employed at Ruane Attorneys at Law as a paralegal. “He would have no client contact, but can help us with the organization of files.”
A decision on Lipsky’s request to work at the firm as a paralegal is pending.