Matter of Sofer

Matter of Sofer (2023 NY Slip Op 00033) Matter of Sofer 2023 NY Slip Op 00033 Decided on January 05, 2023 Appellate Division, First Department Per Curiam Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431. This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports. Decided and Entered: January 05, 2023 SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION First Judicial Department Dianne T. Renwick,J.P., Troy K. Webber Anil C. Singh Saliann Scarpulla Manuel J. Mendez, JJ. Motion No. 2022-03963 Case No. 2022-00928 [*1]In the Matter of Tzadok Sofer, an Attorney and Counselor-at-Law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, Tzadok Sofer (OCA Atty. Reg. No. 2567626), Respondent. Disciplinary proceedings instituted by the Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department. Respondent was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York at a Term of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Judicial Department on August 16, 1993. Jorge Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New York (Jun H. Lee, of counsel), for petitioner. Thomas J. Foley, Esq., for respondent. Per Curiam Respondent Tzadok Sofer was admitted to the practice of law in the State of New York by the First Judicial Department on August 16, 1993. At all times relevant herein, respondent maintained an office for the practice of law within the First Judicial Department. On or about March 7, 2022, the Attorney Grievance Committee (Committee) filed a notice of petition and petition of charges pursuant to Judiciary Law § 90(2) and the Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matter (22 NYCRR) § 1240.8 seeking an order that respondent be disciplined for professional misconduct related to his representation of six clients with regard to their immigration matters, particularly in filing asylum applications and/or cancellation of removal relief. On April 22, 2022, respondent served the Committee with an answer denying the charges. By joint notice of motion dated October 6, 2022, the Committee and respondent ask this Court to suspend him for one year and until further order of this Court, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1240.8(a)(5), based upon the stipulated facts and consent of the parties. The motion is supported by a joint affirmation which contains a statement of facts, conditional admissions, factors in aggravation and mitigation, and agreed upon discipline (22 NYCRR 1240.8[a][5][i]). The motion is accompanied by respondent's affidavit acknowledging his conditional admission of stipulated facts, his consent to the agreed upon discipline, which he has freely and voluntarily given, and his full awareness of the consequences of such consent (22 NYCRR 1240.8[a][5][iii]). The stipulation of facts recites that in November 2012, OD retained respondent and paid him $5,000 to legalize his immigration status. Respondent did not enter into a written retainer agreement or letter of engagement as required pursuant to 22 NYCRR 1215.2. Respondent filed an affirmative asylum application on behalf of OD but failed to advise him of the risk of being placed in removal proceedings by filing such an application. After an asylum interview, …

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