The Court of Appeals recently interpreted the “criminal enterprise” requirement of New York’s Organized Crime Control Act and in doing so demonstrated that the state law can be narrower than its federal counterpart, RICO. In another case, the court held that the decision on whether to seek a lesser-included offense charge is a matter of “strategy and tactics” and that therefore the trial court erred in acceding to the defendant’s request—against the advice of his counsel—that the jury not be charged on lesser-included offenses. And in an unsigned per curiam opinion, the court upheld Grievance Committee professional misconduct charges against a lawyer arising out of his firm’s bookkeeper’s theft of client funds. The latter decision stands as an important reminder to lawyers that their duty to safeguard client funds is an ethical one requiring appropriate employee oversight and will be strictly enforced.
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