Former Debevoise & Plimpton associate Kenneth Schneider, who is in prison for forcing a Russian teen to be his sex slave was suspended from practice on July 3 by a state appeals court, pending disciplinary proceedings.
Last December, Schneider was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a Pennsylvania federal judge for traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in sex with a minor (NYLJ, Dec. 6). That charge has no equivalent in state law and thus did not trigger automatic disbarment. However, a panel of the Appellate Division, First Department, noting that Schneider has committed a “serious crime,” said in Matter of Schneider, 1733, it was required to direct his immediate interim suspension. Schneider was ordered to appear within 90 days of his release from prison before a hearing panel that will consider an appropriate sanction.
Amy Adelson, an attorney for Schneider, said her client is appealing his conviction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. “If the appeal is successful, which we hope and expect, then there is a process for lifting the suspension,” said Adelson, a partner at Dershowitz, Eiger & Adelson. She said her client continues to assert his innocence.