Gone-fishing lawyer told ethics investigators 'it's a matter of priorities and you are not one of them'

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A Connecticut lawyer has been accused of telling ethics officials that they are not a priority and, “Sometimes math and I don’t get along.” Image from Shutterstock.

A Connecticut lawyer accused of two overdrafts to his attorney trust account, leaving a negative balance of more than $1,000, allegedly told ethics officials that he was too busy on his fishing trip to respond to their inquiries.

Lawyer David J. Kurzawa of Northford, Connecticut, is also accused of telling ethics officials that they are not a priority and, “Sometimes math and I don’t get along.”

Law360 has the story.

In a Dec. 6 amended presentment, the Connecticut Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel is seeking an interim suspension for Kurzawa for failing to provide requested materials and failing to cooperate in an audit of his IOLTA account. The office is also seeking appointment of a trustee to protect the interests of Kurzawa’s clients and “an appropriate order of discipline.”

The office filed the amended presentment with the Connecticut superior court in New Haven, Connecticut, at the direction of the Statewide Grievance Committee after its Nov. 3 finding that Kurzawa committed ethics violations. The amended document added the count seeking appropriate discipline.

Kurzawa told ethics officials in an April 2022 letter that two of his IOLTA checks bounced because a client had stopped payment on a $1,070 check deposited into the account, according to the amended presentment. Kurzawa quickly supplemented his account to cure the deficiency.

When pressed for more information, Kurzawa allegedly responded in an email: “I was on vacation, landlocked salmon fishing at East Grand Lake in Weston, Maine, three of us caught about 50 fish, all of which went back into the lake alive, except for one dinner, 3 fish 20 to 22 inches long, they were delicious. Egg batter, then breadcrumbs fried in Peanut Oil. Hot Peanut Oil dissolves any soft bones left in the fish after they are filleted. Then lemon juice on the fried fish. You want to die for. Anyway, I was away. I will send you my response to this terrible offense next week.

“I have a real estate closing early next week and my client is going on vacation an[d] I have to have certain documents signed before he leaves. It’s a matter of priorities and you are not one of them at this time. I tell my children all the time (twin daughters and a son) that they are surrounded by idiots. Also, a law school classmate, who was brilliant, use to say that you can teach them to read and teach them to write, but you can’t teach them to THINK.”

Kurzawa made the comment about math in a June 22 letter.

“Sometimes math and I don’t get along,” he wrote. “There was no intent to misappropriate any funds, never did, never will.”

Kurzawa was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1987 and has no public history of discipline.

Kurzawa told the ABA Journal that he had no comment on the case.

Updated on Dec. 14 to change the headline and first sentence.

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