June 25, 2021
Contact: Toni Valenti
New York County Lawyers Association Issues Statement
on the Interim Suspension of Rudolph W. Guiliani
The New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) today issued the following statement on Rudolph W. Guiliani’s suspension from the practice of law in New York.
In a groundbreaking decision issued on June 24, 2021, a Panel of New York’s Appellate Division, First Judicial Department suspended former Mayor and U.S. Attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani from the practice of law, effective immediately, pending the full disposition of a disciplinary proceeding against him. The Court acted in a response to a series of disciplinary complaints brought against Mr. Giuliani, including one by the New York County Lawyer’s Association and 60 Bar leaders and academics from across New York State. Former NYCLA and New York State Bar Association President Michael Miller organized the disciplinary complaint, and NYCLA Treasurer Ronald Minkoff, and his firm, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, P.C., acted as counsel for the 60-plus signatories.
The disciplinary complaint NYCLA joined alleged that Mr. Giuliani, in the course of his legal representation of Donald J. Trump and his presidential campaign, made numerous false and misleading statements in and out of court in order to, in the words of the Appellate Division, “bolster [Mr. Giuliani’s] narrative that due to widespread voter fraud, victory in the 2020 United States presidential election was stolen from his client.” NYCLA was the only Bar Association in New York State to join in a disciplinary complaint against Mr. Giuliani.
“We are incredibly gratified by this result,” said NYCLA President Vincent T. Chang. “We joined in the Complaint to vindicate one of the core values of our Association and our profession: that lawyers should act with honesty and integrity when they speak on behalf of a client, whether they do so in a court proceeding, before a legislature or at a press conference.” Noting that the Court found “uncontroverted evidence” of Mr. Giuliani’s misconduct, Mr. Chang continued: “When lawyers violate our Rules of Professional Conduct, they should be disciplined, no matter how powerful the lawyers or their clients are. This is something that transcends politics. It is the only way the rule of law can prevail in our country. We at NYCLA will do whatever it takes to bring us closer to that goal.”
Mr. Chang further expressed the hope that the highly publicized nature of these events will serve to educate the public about the ethical standards to which lawyers are held. “In the wake of the suspension, we now see news coverage explaining the disciplinary oversight to which lawyers are subject – something the public needs to understand in order to understand the news story,” he said. “As a Bar Association it is important to us that the public understand lawyers are subject to ethical rules and can be punished for violating those rules.”
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.