Legal Ethics

NY Lawyer Convicted in Witness-Tampering Case Is Disbarred

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The conduct on which New York attorney Robert M. Simels’ federal bribery conviction was based would also constitute a crime under state law, a state appellate court panel has determined.

So the Appellate Division, First Department granted today a disciplinary committee petition to disbar him, under a legal ethics rule providing for automatic disbarment when a lawyer is convicted of a felony, Reuters reports.

A former prosecutor who subsequently went into private practice as a criminal defense lawyer, Simels was sentenced in 2009 to 14 years by a federal judge in Brooklyn after being convicted in a jury trial of attempted obstruction of justice and other crimes.

While representing a suspected drug smuggler, prosecutors said, Simels cooperated with an associate of his client to track down and threaten witnesses.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “2 Lawyers Convicted in Witness-Tampering Case, Could Face Life in Prison”

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer Who Threatened to Neutralize Witness Gets 14-Year Sentence”

ABAJournal.com: “2nd Cir. Upholds 10 of 12 Convictions for NY Criminal Defense Lawyer in Attempted Obstruction Case”

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