Legal Ethics

State's Chief Judge Stays Lawyer's 2-Year Suspension During Appeal

A Long Island lawyer whose brother diverted more than $4 million in escrow money from the lawyer’s law firm is getting a temporary reprieve while his disciplinary status is on appeal.

Peter Galasso’s license to practice law in New York was suspended for two years last February and a state appeals court has already upheld that decision.

But New York’s Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman agreed this week to stay the suspension while the state’s highest court decides whether to hear Galasso’s latest appeal, Reuters reports.

Galasso has been fighting for his license since his brother, Anthony, pleaded guilty in 2007 to diverting funds from Galasso’s firm. New York’s Grievance Committee accused Galasso of failing to safeguard his client’s money from his brother, who was the firm’s bookkeeper, according to Reuters.

Reuters quotes Galasso’s lawyer, Jeffrey Catterson, who characterized Galasso’s situation as a “Greek tragedy.”

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