Legal Ethics

New York Lawyer Is Suspended Partly for 'Shockingly Poor' Briefs

A New York appeals court has suspended an immigration lawyer from law practice for two years after a federal grievance committee found he had submitted briefs of “shockingly poor quality.”

The state supreme court, appellate division, suspended lawyer Andre Sobolevsky as reciprocal discipline, the Legal Profession Blog reports. The New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had suspended Sobolevsky last July after a grievance committee found he neglected client matters, failed to supervise nonlawyer staffers, and submitted deficient briefs.

The state court opinion summarized the federal grievance committee’s conclusions. Sobolevsky had submitted briefs of “shockingly poor quality,” the committee found. Defects included incorrect clients’ names, inclusion of irrelevant boilerplate, and reference to evidence that had not been submitted.

Sobolevsky blamed the problems on a variety of factors, including the onset of glaucoma and disruptions caused by a law office move. He also said he had to deal with a large influx in immigration petitions arising from family planning laws in China.

Sobolevsky asserted that a paralegal did some of the deficient work, an admission of unauthorized practice, the grievance committee said.

Sobolevsky will remain suspended until further order of the court.

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