Legal Ethics

Lawyer loses license for 2 years because his bookkeeper brother stole $4M from firm

A New York matrimonial attorney is apparently going to be forced to take a two-year leave from law practice after the state’s top appellate court declined Tuesday to review an intermediate appeals court’s OK of a two-year law license suspension.

Peter Galasso was disciplined for failing to safeguard some $4 million in client funds stolen from his law firm’s escrow accounts by his brother, who worked as a bookkeeper there. The suspension had been stayed while Galasso asked the New York Court of Appeals to review the disciplinary action. But now, although disappointed by the result, Galasso “is heartened by the prospect of returning to practice in two years revitalized and reinvigorated,” said his attorney and law partner, Jeffrey Catterson, in a written statement provided to Reuters.

Additional coverage: “Misconduct Finding Upheld for Lawyer Who Reported Brother / Office Mgr’s $4M Theft from Client Funds” “State’s Chief Judge Stays Lawyer’s 2-Year Suspension During Appeal”

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