Attorney Grievance Comm. for the First Judicial Dep't v. McCrea (In re McCrea), Motion No. 2022-03773

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM.
Citation211 A.D.3d 167,178 N.Y.S.3d 69
Parties In the MATTER OF A. Grant MCCREA, an attorney and counselor-at law: Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner, v. A. Grant McCrea, (OCA Atty. Reg. No. 2079473), Respondent.
Docket NumberMotion No. 2022-03773,Case No. 2022–04224
Decision Date29 November 2022

211 A.D.3d 167
178 N.Y.S.3d 69

In the MATTER OF A. Grant MCCREA, an attorney and counselor-at law:

Attorney Grievance Committee for the First Judicial Department, Petitioner,
v.
A. Grant McCrea, (OCA Atty. Reg.
No. 2079473), Respondent.

Motion No. 2022-03773
Case No. 2022–04224

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

November 29, 2022


Jorge Dopico, Chief Attorney, Attorney Grievance Committee, New York (Denice M. Szekely, of counsel), for petitioner.

Respondent pro se.

Per Curiam

Respondent A. Grant McCrea was admitted to the practice of law by the First Judicial Department on July 28, 1986. At all times relevant to this matter, respondent maintained an office within the First Judicial Department.

The Attorney Grievance Committee (AGC or Committee) now seeks an order, pursuant to the Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matters ( 22 NYCRR) § 1240.9(a)(3), immediately suspending respondent from the practice of law for his failure to comply with the Committee's lawful investigative demands by failing to answer a complaint, and for further relief as the Court deems just and proper. Respondent, pro se, consented to service of the motion by email and first-class mail but has not submitted a response.

In February 2020, the Committee received a complaint from respondent's client stating that she retained respondent in 2017 to represent her in a medical malpractice matter, paying him legal and filing fees. Over several years, the client had severe difficulty reaching respondent notwithstanding numerous attempts to contact him; when she was finally able to get in touch with him, he provided myriad reasons for his delays in communication but did not discuss the state of the case.

On August 6, 2020, the Committee sent a letter to respondent's law firm email address providing a copy of the client's complaint and asking him to submit an answer within 20 days. On August 27, 2020 and March 3, 2021, the Committee emailed respondent again seeking an answer to the complaint, noting that multiple phone calls to him had gone unanswered and advising that his continued neglect or refusal to cooperate could expose him to a suspension or charges. On June 8, 2021, the Committee attempted to serve respondent with a subpoena at a New York City address listed on his attorney registration with OCA, but the process server was informed that respondent had moved from that address more than two years earlier.

On June 15, 2021, AGC Staff Counsel finally spoke with respondent by telephone. Respondent indicated, among other things, that he was out of the country and had forgotten to submit an answer to the complaint. He also provided his email address, requesting that the Committee

178 N.Y.S.3d 71

resend the complaint, which the Committee did that day.

On October 25, 2021, having still not received a response, Staff Counsel again spoke to respondent by telephone, and respondent stated that he was still out of the country. On the same date, pursuant to his request, the Committee sent a follow-up email, again providing a copy of the complaint. The Committee further advised that if respondent was unable to provide details regarding the matter because of his current medical condition, he should submit documentation to that effect.

On January 14, 2022, the Committee once again...

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