Robert Alan Schachter, a former partner at Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, has been suspended pending an investigation into allegations that he stole from the firm. Schachter consented to the Oct. 14 suspension by a unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, on a motion by the Departmental Disciplinary Committee.
The committee began investigating Schachter after receiving a letter from Ronald Goodman, Robinson Brog’s managing partner, saying that Schachter had misappropriated at least $96,000 in firm funds for his own use and had admitted to having acted inappropriately when confronted. The firm also discovered several other instances of Schachter misappropriating funds, according to the decision, including taking more than $9,000 from a fee paid by a client after settling a matter, keeping a $5,000 cash retainer meant for the firm, and billing a client more than $5,400 while recording a bill of only $450 for the firm.
According to Goodman’s letter, Schachter had been “a well-respected member of the Firm and among our highest compensation attorneys” until his conduct came to light. Schachter was terminated from the firm in July 2009, and later agreed to pay a judgment of $250,000, of which he had paid $90,000 as of March 13, according to the decision. In response to the committee’s investigation, Schachter submitted his resignation from the bar. The committee did not accept the resignation and continued with the probe. Schachter has declined to answer the allegations, citing constitutional protection against self-incrimination.
Schachter, who was admitted in 1975, had been working as of counsel at Akabas & Sproule. Michael Sproule said in an email that Schachter “has been associated with our firm for three years and has been a valued member of our team. We have been consistently impressed by the quality of his work and his integrity both personally and in all matters on which he worked at this firm. Whatever financial issues he encountered with his former firm are entirely between him and his former firm and have not involved, and do not involve, us in any way. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Schachter’s counsel, Michael Ross, declined to comment. Justices Rolando Acosta (See Profile), Dianne Renwick (See Profile), Leland DeGrasse (See Profile), Helen Freedman (See Profile) and Rosalyn Richter (See Profile) sat on the panel in Matter of Schachter, M2600.