Ira Mayo (An earlier version of this story included a photo of an incorrect lawyer.) ()
A Torrington attorney’s law career hangs in the balance after he was accused of violating a new court order that banned him from ever representing female clients for the remainder of his career.
Ira Mayo’s law license was ordered suspended back in July. The four-month suspension for violating a court order not to represent women in family law or domestic violence cases is supposed to go into effect Oct. 1.
With the new allegations, the state’s Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel wants him disbarred in spite of an agreement reached reached last month with Mayo’s attorney, Rick Richardson that would have allowed Mayo to reapply to the bar as long as he agreed not to represent women “formally or informally” for the rest of his legal career. The agreement was put in place after Mayo admitted violating a past court order by representing at least 11 women in domestic violence and family law cases.
In a subsequent motion for disbarment filed Aug. 6, Desi Imetovski, from the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel, says Mayo “represented that he would be filing an appearance and requested a particular date” for a court appearance in the case of Jessica Policastro, who was charged with misdemeanor sixth-degree larceny in late June. That is an apparent violation of the agreement reached in early July.
Neither Mayo nor his attorney could be immediately reached for comment.
According to the Aug. 6 motion, Mayo appeared before Bantam Superior Court Judge Richard Marano on July 30 and said he would be representing Policastro,
When Marano asked court officials if an attorney had filed an appearance on behalf of Policastor. Mayo responded. “I have to file one, your honor.”
Mayo told the judge he would be filing Policastro’s application for accelerated rehab, according to the transcript, and asked for a continuance of the case, to Sept. 5.
Imetovski, who could not be immediately reached for comment, said a court transcript of the exchange between Mayo and Marano is “evidence” Mayo intended to represent the women at future court proceedings. A hearing on the motion is set for some time in September, said Patricia King, chief disciplinary counsel.
The most recent disciplinary action came after Mayo admitted to a “technical violation” of a 2010 court order which barred him from representing women in domestic violence and family cases.
Since then, state officials said, Mayo represented at least 11 women. For his part, Mayo claimed in a recent interview with the Law Tribune he misunderstood the order. The disciplinary office initally sought to have Mayo disbarred, but settled on the four-month suspension and lifetime ban on representing women.
That didn’t sit well with Castro, who wanted to see Mayo sidelined for the rest of his professional career.
Mayo’s past difficulties with women is extensive. He was reinstated to the bar in 2007 following a 15-month suspension for making unwanted sexual advances toward clients referred to him by the Susan B. Anthony Project for abused women, In July 13, 2010, Judge Robert Holzberg ordered Mayo not to represent woman in domestic violence and family cases following a presentment from the Statewide Grievance Committee that alleged Mayo had offered to waive a client’s fees in exchange for a massage.
In an interview with the Law Tribune earlier this month, Imetovski said Mayo’s suspension and lifetime ban on reprenting women “struck a good balance between [Mayo] taking responsibility and protecting the public.”