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Hal R. LiebermanHal R. Lieberman (NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)

My last column focused on two aspects of the New York State Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline’s recently released report recommending various reforms: uniformity (consistency) and fairness.1 This column considers additional recommendations described in the report as “fostering efficiency” in our disciplinary system. Translation: addressing perceived, undue delays.2

As discussed in my last column, on March 30, 2015, then Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced the formation of a Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline, to be made up of leaders from New York’s bench and bar (the author was on the commission). The stated mission was to “conduct a comprehensive review of [New York's] attorney disciplinary system to determine what is working well and what can work better, and to offer recommendations to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of New York’s attorney discipline process.” Accordingly, to study and make recommendations for reform as to the structure and functioning of the current disciplinary system, the commission established subcommittees on: (1) uniformity and fairness; (2) transparency and access; and, (3) enhancing efficiency.

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