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Monday, April 23, 2012

POOR BRIEF LEADS TO SUSPENSION

Andre Sobolevsky, a New York attorney, licensed since 1985, has been publicly reprimanded and suspended by both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the New York State Bar.  The Second Circuit proceedings concerned charges that Sobolevsky:"(1) submitted deficient briefs in seven immigration matters; (2) failed to comply with numerous scheduling orders, including failing to submit briefs in support of immigration petitions; and (3) filed with the Second Circuit petitions that involved immigration proceedings completed in other circuits.  In his defense, Sobolevsky offered numerous different explanations for his mistakes including a large influx of petitions, his diagnosis with glaucoma, inability to bear the expenses of filing briefs when clients abandoned their cases, and disruptions from moving his law office.  The Second Circuit's Committee on Admissions and Grievances found that he had submitted briefs that were of "shockingly poor quality," with defects including incorrect clients' names, irrelevant boilerplate, and reference to evidence which had not been submitted.  Making matters worse for Sobolevsky were his explanation that he relied on his paralegal for most of the work and filed it without reviewing it.  This was viewed as an admission that he had allowed and aided the unauthorized practice of law and failed to supervise staff at his direction who were non-lawyers.  It also found that his failure to read the records resulted in most of his petitions being filed in the wrong circuit, showing a lack of respect and candor toward the court.  Both the Second Circuit and New York suspended him for at least two years, and the Second Circuit also requires proof of attendance at CLE classes in brief-writing and law office management before allowing him to resume practice. 

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