Roll Call

The Following Attorneys Were Disbarred By Order Of The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department:

Christopher Carnesi (June 23, 2009)
On May 4, 2007, the respondent pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to conspiracy to commit money laundering, a federal class C felony. On February 8, 2008, he was sentenced to a six-month term of imprisonment, with credit for time already served; a special assessment of $100; and two-years of supervised release. In finding that the federal felony of conspiracy to commit money laundering is “essentially similar” to the New York class E felony of conspiracy to commit money laundering in the second degree, the Appellate Division held that the respondent was automatically disbarred as a result of his conviction pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a).

Marise Robergeau, a suspended attorney (June 23, 2009)
The respondent was found guilty, on default, of failing to cooperate with the Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh and Thirteenth Judicial Districts.

Michael T. Savelli (June 23, 2009)
On August 27, 2008, the respondent pleaded guilty in Supreme Court, Nassau County (Calabrese, J.) to one count of attempted disseminating indecent materials to minors in the first degree, a class E felony. Pursuant to § 90(4)(a) of the Judiciary Law, the respondent was automatically disbarred as a result of his New York felony conviction.

Pericles Tsapongas (June 23, 2009)
The respondent tendered a resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against allegations of grossly overcharging clients for legal services performed in relation to the reduction of tax assessments on properties owned by the clients. Prior to his resignation, the Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh and Thirteenth Judicial Districts was investigating 60 complaints of professional misconduct against the respondent.

John P. Oliver, admitted as John Patrick Oliver, a suspended attorney (June 30, 2009)
On May 1, 2008, the respondent entered a plea of guilty in the County Court, Suffolk County (Hinrichs, J.) to one count of grand larceny in the second degree and one count of scheme to defraud in the first degree. Pursuant to § 90(4)(a) of the Judiciary Law, the respondent was automatically disbarred as a result of his New York felony conviction(s).

Alan Schuchman (June 30, 2009)
By order filed March 6, 2007, the Supreme Court of the State of California accepted the respondent’s resignation. Upon a motion for reciprocal discipline pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 691.3, the respondent was disbarred in New York.

Robert L. Shepherd (July 21, 2009)
On September 18, 2008, the respondent pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and making materially false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of the judicial branch of the government, both of which are federal felonies. On December 1, 2008, the respondent was sentenced to 18-months probation; a fine in the sum of $3,000; and an assessment of $100, along with certain enumerated “special conditions.” In finding that the respondent’s admitted conduct was “essentially similar” to the New York class E felony of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, the Appellate Division held that the respondent was automatically disbarred as a result of his conviction pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(a).

Daniel F. Blizard (July 28, 2009)
The respondent tendered a resignation wherein he acknowledged that he could not successfully defend himself on the merits against allegations that he neglected a legal matter entrusted to him; handled legal matters without adequate preparation; and failed to timely communicate with his clients and/or respond to their inquiries regarding the status of matters entrusted to him. In addition, the respondent failed to cooperate with the Grievance Committee’s investigation by failing to timely respond to multiple lawful demands for answers to complaints and/or additional information.

Robert Tavon, a suspended attorney (August 4, 2009)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice by failing to promptly comply with the lawful demands of the Grievance Committee during its investigation of four complaints of professional misconduct; failing to act competently by engaging in inadequate preparation for and/or neglecting legal matters entrusted to him; permitting someone other that his client to improperly influence his independent professional judgment on behalf of the client; engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and/or reflecting adversely on his fitness as a lawyer by failing to timely appear at scheduled appearances on one or more occasions in connection with client matters; engaging in conduct reflecting adversely on his fitness as a lawyer by failing to comply with the requirements of 22 NYCRR § 1400 et seq in connection with a custody and visitation matter; engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice by failing to pay a money judgment entered against him; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation and/or conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice by submitting misleading documents to a court; engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on his fitness as a lawyer by failing to file a Retainer and/or Closing Statement with the Office of Court Administration (OCA) as required by 22 NYCRR § 691.20; engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice by failing to timely re-register as an attorney with OCA as required by Judiciary Law § 468-a; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by making false and misleading statements on a background questionnaire submitted to the Grievance Committee; engaging in the unauthorized practice of law by initiating a legal action at a time when he knew or should have known that his license to practice law had been suspended; engaging in dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation by holding himself out as a licensed attorney to a bank official in order to open a bank account, at a time when he knew or should have known that his license to practice law had been suspended; and engaging in conduct reflecting adversely on his fitness as a lawyer based upon his conviction in the village of Bronxville, New York, on or about August 27, 2007, for the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

The Following Attorneys Were Suspended From The Practice Of Law By Order Of The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department:

Charles J. Diven, admitted as Charles James Diven (June 23, 2009)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of engaging in conduct adversely reflecting on his fitness to practice law by failing to properly identify his attorney escrow account, failing to safeguard funds entrusted to him in breach of his fiduciary duty, simultaneously representing parties with differing interests, representing a party against a former client in a substantially related matter, and neglecting legal matters entrusted to him; and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation by furnishing a fabricated document to the Grievance Committee. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of five years, commencing July 24, 2009 and continuing until the further order of the Court.

Sheldon M. Krupnick, admitted as Sheldon Martin Krupnick (June 30, 2009)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of engaging in conduct that reflected adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; engaging in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice; and engaging in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer by completing a previously-signed blank deed and notarizing that deed approximately seven years after it had been signed, without the knowledge or consent of the party who signed the deed in blank, and by delivering the then-completed deed to a person the respondent knew was involved in a pending lawsuit regarding the subject matter of the deed. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of five years, commencing July 30, 2009 and continuing until the further order of the Court.

Stanley E. Gelzinis (July 2, 2009)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further proceedings, upon a finding that he was guilty of professional misconduct immediately threatening the public interest based upon substantial admissions under oath and other uncontroverted evidence.

Daniel D. Tartaglia, admitted as Daniel David Tartaglia, a suspended attorney (July 14, 2009)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of having been convicted of a serious crime, to wit, failing to file a New York State income tax return, which conduct reflects adversely on his honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer and is prejudicial to the administration of justice. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year, commencing immediately, and continuing until the further order of the Court.

Mark C. Kaley, admitted as Mark Christopher Kaley (July 21, 2009)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him by failing to file and serve a motion for a default judgment in an action in Supreme Court, Queens County and engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, which reflects adversely on his fitness as a lawyer, by creating fictitious court documents and providing them to a client for the purpose of misleading the client about the status and progress of their lawsuit. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of three years.

Alexander M. Kaplan, admitted as Alexander Michael Kaplan (July 21, 2009)
On February 6, 2009, the respondent was found guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, after a jury trial, of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud (count one); bank fraud (counts two, three, four, seven, eight and nine); wire fraud (counts five, six and ten through fifteen); and mail fraud (counts sixteen through eighteen), for a total of 18 federal felony counts. He has not yet been sentenced. The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further proceedings, based upon his having been found guilty of serious crime pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(f).

Barry R. Feerst, admitted as Barry Roy Feerst (July 22, 2009)
On November 2, 2008, the respondent was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York to a non-jail sentence for a violation of 18 USC § 371. He was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further proceedings, based upon his having been found guilty of serious crime pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(4)(f).

Jay M. Lipis, admitted as Jay Merrill Lipis (August 4, 2009)
By order of the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts entered October 10, 2008, and effective 30 days later, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law in Massachusetts for a period of two years. Upon a motion for reciprocal discipline pursuant to 22 NYCRR § 691.3, he was suspended from the practice of law in New for a period of two years, commencing September 4, 2009 and continuing until further order of the Court.

Robert I. Oziel, admitted as Robert Israel Oziel (August 4, 2009)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of failing to preserve funds entrusted to him and converting those funds to uses other than those for which they were intended; engaging in conduct that reflects adversely on his fitness as a lawyer by reason of the foregoing; failing to promptly deliver to clients, at their request, funds in his possession that the clients were entitled to receive; engaging in conduct that reflects adversely on his fitness as a lawyer by reason of the foregoing; engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud and deceit by providing a client with false and misleading information as to the status of her legal matter; and engaging in conduct that reflects adversely on his fitness as a lawyers by reason of the foregoing. He was suspended from the practice of law for a period of five years, commencing September 4, 2009, and continuing until the further order of the Court.

William R. Kelly (August 5, 2009)
The respondent was immediately suspended from the practice of law, pending further proceedings, upon a finding that he was guilty of professional misconduct immediately threatening the public interest based upon substantial admissions under oath and other uncontroverted evidence.

Stafford Henderson Byers (August 11, 2009)
Following a disciplinary hearing, the respondent was found guilty of violating his fiduciary obligations by failing to maintain and preserve funds belonging to another person that were entrusted to him; misappropriating funds belonging to another person that were entrusted to him, by withdrawing funds from his attorney trust account for his personal use; commingling personal funds with funds belonging to another person, by depositing personal funds into his attorney trust account; failing to make accurate entries of all financial transactions connected to his attorney trust account in a ledger or similar record at or near the time of the transactions; and engaging in conduct that reflects adversely on his fitness as a lawyer by reason of the foregoing. In consideration of substantial mitigating factors, the respondent was suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year, commencing September 11, 2009, and continuing until the further order of the Court.

The Following Suspended Attorney Was Reinstated As An Attorney And Counselor-At-Law By Order Of The Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department:

Vincent F. Siccardi (July 21, 2009)

This edition of ROLL CALL has been compiled by Diana J. Szochet, Assistant Counsel to the State of New York Grievance Committee for the Second, Eleventh and Thirteenth Judicial Districts, and Immediate Past President of the Brooklyn Bar Association.