Manhattan attorney Paul S. Block was disbarred yesterday by the Appellate Division, First Department, after pleading guilty to writing unauthorized checks from the escrow account of his former firm. The crime, second-degree grand larceny, is a felony, requiring automatic disbarment under New York law. The First Department rejected Block’s request to resign from the bar, submitted after his Jan. 13, 2012, guilty plea, ruling that his disbarment is retroactive to the time of the plea.

Block admitted to writing unauthorized checks from the escrow account of his former employer, landlord-tenant firm Goldberg, Scudieri & Lindenberg, totaling over $300,000 from 2007 to 2010. He was suspended twice before. In 2001, he was suspended for six months for neglecting the affairs of two of his clients, a married couple, lying to them about the progress of their case and faking documents. In 2010, he was suspended for 18 months for neglecting a client’s case and lying to the client about it.

Justices Richard Andrias (See Profile), David Friedman (See Profile), David Saxe (See Profile), Rosalyn Richter (See Profile) and Sheila Abdus-Salaam (See Profile) sat on the panel in Matter of Block, M-5023.