Connecticut’s Statewide Grievance Committee this week announced disciplinary action against six attorneys, including presentment, reprimands and suspensions.
Here is a look at attorneys, listed alphabetically, whose ethics charges led to disciplinary action in February.
The Statewide Grievance Committee made a presentment in the case of Glastonbury-based solo practitioner David Chomick. Its reviewing committee found Chomick acted improperly toward a client who retained him to discuss a crumbling foundation at a residential property.
The client paid Chomick a $1,000 fee, but the reviewing committee said the attorney did not provide a written fee agreement in connection with the representation. In addition, the client had asked if Chomick had filed the necessary paperwork with the state’s consumer protection agency, but later learned the attorney never had. The client then ended up filing her own paperwork.
The committee found Chomick engaged in “unethical conduct,” and said his reasoning regarding confusion over whether there was an active mailing address for his office was not credible.
The presentment is pending a final decision from the SGC.
New York resident and Connecticut attorney William Fernandez has been suspended from practicing law in the Nutmeg State for 90 days, effective Feb. 25.
The SGC found that Fernandez, who is an immigration attorney, engaged in misconduct. In its presentment, the committee found that Fernandez was guilty of misconduct “involving his character, integrity, and professional standing” during his representation of a citizen from El Salvador who was placed in expedited deportation proceedings. Soon after taking that case, Fernandez was suspended from practicing law for five months in an unrelated matter, but did not tell his current client about his suspension.
The reviewing committee of the SGC found “clear and convincing evidence” that Fernandez “failed to communicate with the complainant adequately.”
The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel placed Hartford attorney Justin Freeman on interim suspension, effective immediately. The suspension follows Freeman’s pleading guilty to filing false tax returns over a three-year period.
Freeman, who underreported more than $1 million and faces upward of three years in prison, will be sentenced early next month.
Easton-based solo practitioner Frederick Lovejoy has been reprimanded for engaging in “unethical conduct” with regard to his business relationship with Computer Reporting Services LLC, a company that provides reporting services to attorneys.
After Lovejoy did not pay the company’s bills, CRS commenced a small-action claim against him and his firm, Lovejoy & Associates. The grievance committee found that Lovejoy used “means that had no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden CRS in obtaining payments for services rendered.” At issue was $15,653, including costs and attorney fees.
The OCDC has suspended Massachusetts resident Rachael Rosenberg, who is also licensed in Massachusetts, from practicing law in Connecticut for six months, effective Jan. 31. The suspension mirrors the one Rosenberg got in Massachusetts in October.
Rosenberg was cited, in Massachusetts, for failing to “competently and diligently” represent clients in three separate cases. In one case, she was representing a couple in a small-claims matter, but never filed the necessary documents in court. A second involved a client who had hired Rosenberg to pursue a wrongful termination suit against a former employer. In that case, the committee found Rosenberg repeatedly canceled appointments with her client. In the third case, Rosenberg was representing a client in a workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claim. The attorney, the court said, failed over several weeks to respond to the client’s attempts to contact her and update her on the case.
The OCDC has suspended Washington, D.C., resident Harry Tun, who is also licensed in Washington, D.C., and Connecticut, from practicing law in Connecticut for one year, effective Feb. 5. The one-year suspension echoes Tun’s penalty in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in October.
Tun was cited for improper payment for representing indigent criminal defendants in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Attorney’s Office found that Tun had, among other things, sought payment for the same time period for two or more clients on 162 occasions. The USAO agreed not to file criminal charges against Tun if he repaid “the $16,034 in overpayments he had received as a result of the false reporting.” The USAO notified the OCDC, which issued the one-year suspension.