The disbarment was based upon the Petition that stated as its basis to request disbarment, among other things, the contents of the attorney's disciplinary file, which the Attorney Grievance Committee did not make part of the record.
The attorney made several applications for access to contents of the record based on which he was disbarred.
The Attorney Grievance Committee refused to provide such records.
So, the attorney sued.
During litigation, the Attorney Grievance Committee's (AGC's) counsel, Assistant New York State Attorney General Bruce Boivin, told me (I represented the Plaintiff) that the ACG does not have the file I am trying to get.
Well, if they do not have the file, the order of disbarment must be voided, since it was based on claims under oath, of the Committee, made upon existence of the file.
Federal U.S. District Judge (Senior Status) Lawrence E. Kahn whose own law license and livelihood is in the hands of defendant ACG who appeared in front of him (because without that license he cannot be a judge)
dismissed the case stating that:
- an attorney does not have a constitutional right of access to his own disciplinary file upon which he was denied his law license and livelihood, that
- the order of disbarment is final (even if fraudulent - which he did not mention) and, thus, the U.S. District Court lacks jurisdiction, under the judicially created Rooker-Feldman doctrine, to review the case, and
- ACG, and its now former attorney Steven Zayas, is absolutely immune from lawsuit for denying access to the file.
Of course, when making those impassioned statements, Duffy knew she was lying, and did it with audacity, in full knowledge that, in the absence of mechanisms in the ACG to investigate and prosecute their own attorneys for misconduct, nobody will ever discipline her for that lie.
After all, she engaged in professional misconduct in several disciplinary cases I know of, to the point of fraud upon the court, and stalled complaints against herself. Moreover, when given a chance as a member of the Commission on attorney discipline to put in a mechanism of disqualification of ACG members and attorneys for conflict of interest, she did not do that - protecting herself from discipline.
Duffy's Commission also issued a report recommending to allow appeals of dismissals by ACG, and, based on the report, new rules of attorney discipline were issued by the New York State 4 Appellate Departments, now "allowing" a very limited appeal of dismissals of complaints against attorneys.
- Duffy relied on the new rules that Duffy helped create, 22 NYCRR 1240, specifically on 22 NYCRR 1240.7(d)(1)(I), which allows, according to Duffy, to "decline to investigate". Declining to investigate is declining to review or analyze.
- prosecute and/or
- adjudicate - in all and any combinations of those 4 functions - be vested into the same governmental body, and especially into the body where members of the Committee are "unpaid volunteers", whose own business and livelihood depends on approval or disapproval by the judiciary
- demand from their legal representatives in the legislatures passing of a legislature that
- would abolish the so-called "prosecutorial discretion",
- would put the matter of decisions whether to bring or not to bring charges outside of the "self-regulating" legal profession and judiciary, into the hands of lay and neutral public panels, with members of the panels having no connection to the legal profession or judges; and
- would vest the complainants with a state right to appeal dismissals.
We the People can expect true accountability for misconduct - of government attorneys, prosecutors and judges.