Legal Ethics

Lawyer who called decision 'La La Land on steroids' is suspended for his wide-ranging criticism

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A New York appeals court has suspended a Suffolk County lawyer for three months for “inexcusable” criticism about courts hearing two of his cases.

The New York Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, First Department, rejected a referee’s recommendation for a public censure and suspended lawyer Gino Giorgini for three months. The New York Times and the New York Law Journal have coverage of the appeals court’s Sept. 25 decision.

Giorgini’s comments “went beyond the bounds of zealous advocacy and were derogatory, undignified and inexcusable,” the appeals court said. “Respondent has evinced a flagrant disrespect for the judiciary and a fundamental disregard for the judicial process which he has been sworn to uphold.”

In the first case, the appeals court quoted a state court judge who was the target of Giorgini’s angry written comments. Giorgini’s “vituperative criticism” was “totally unwarranted, completely unprofessional and … disrespectful,” the appeals court said.

Giorgini had made his comments in that case in an affirmation supporting a motion to reargue. They included:

• “I find it hard to believe that after the court had the motion for 5 months to decide, that it could make up facts to support a finding . … But then … if you do not read plaintiff’s papers maybe it is possible. Close your eyes and wish for facts to grant a defendant’s summary judgment. I am sure it is not the first time it has happened in Suffolk County.”

• “THIS IS LA LA LAND ON STEROIDS. … I CAN NOT COMPREHEND THE #%%#$^% THAT IS THIS DECISION. … This is so bizzaro land that it is hard to type. What is even more pathetic is the case I cited (citation omitted) has been ignored.”

In the second case, the appeals court said, Giorgini had accused a New York judge and appeals court of political bias and corruption. Giorgini had made his remarks once again in an affirmation supporting a motion for reargument, including these statements:

• “This is outrageous!!!!!!! How dare this court disrespect my elderly client for the benefit of some political contributors. I guess my reply/sur-reply was not read. I pointed this out in my first paragraphs Let me see … perjury… no problem … fraud … no problem …. what a joke. I guess if you hire the right politically active lawyers like [opposing counsel] anything is excusable with this court. … I spent countless hours proving plaintiff’s fraud; putting forth case law so on point that there is no issue of defendants prevailing and the court doesn’t read my papers. Do you know how angering that is. To me someone is stealing from my client and from me.”

• “Defendants took the effort to point out in detail how almost each and every one of [plaintiff’s] receipts’ were fake and manufactured in the days before the papers were filed. … The court does not care about this? Fake evidence is ok? Lying is ok? Is this a Suffolk County rule? Does the Office of Judicial Conduct and the Department of Justice know about this rule?”

Giorgini did not comment for the record when the New York Times asked whether he would appeal the suspension. Giorgini told the New York Law Journal that he could not comment by phone, but he was willing to meet with the publication in person to discuss his case.

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