New York considers opening lawyer disciplinary hearings
NEW YORK–New York’s chief judge said she will consider proposals to open up lawyer disciplinary hearings once formal charges are filed, in order to make attorneys more accountable to the public.
The disciplinary process for lawyers is currently entirely closed to the public and media in New York unless there is official public discipline of the attorney. The new proposal, now open for comment, would resemble the disciplinary process rules already implemented in 32 other states, according to Louis Craco, chairperson of the New York Committee on the Profession and the Courts.
The state’s 16-member Committee on the Profession and the Courts made the proposal to open disciplinary hearings as one of a package of suggestions on legal ethics. Adoption of new attorney disciplinary procedures requires amendment of the New York State Judiciary Law by the state legislature.
Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye of the New York Court of Appeals, that state’s highest court, said that the move was necessary to facilitate honest self-appraisals by the profession, according to The National Law Journal. (New York State Judiciary Law, 90)