On July 7, 2023, Law.com reported that six attorneys from Connecticut have faced disciplinary measures, as specified in court orders. The range of actions taken against these legal professionals includes suspensions, multiple reprimands, and being placed on inactive status.
Francis J. O’Reilly has been subjected to an 18-month suspension, which is retroactive to October 2020, following a court order due to his conviction for tax evasion. The suspension was issued as a result of O’Reilly’s guilty plea to two federal felonies, namely tax evasion and failure to collect and remit payroll taxes, as stated in a presentment.
Speaking about the disciplinary outcome, O’Reilly expressed his acceptance, stating that he believed the decision was “fair” and “decided with compassion.” He further commended the court’s prompt, efficient, thoughtful, and comprehensive approach during the process.
Another attorney, John D. Griffin, received a 120-day suspension in response to a criminal offense. The court’s presentment revealed that Griffin had been sentenced to two years in jail, with execution suspended after 120 days, along with a two-year probation period. This sentence stemmed from his conviction on one count of driving under the influence and one count of illegal operation under suspension on December 1, 2022. However, Griffin remained unavailable for comment despite requests for clarification.
Attorney Michael D’Onofrio faced reprimand after four grievance complaints were lodged against him. The Superior Court found D’Onofrio to be in violation of several Rules of Professional Conduct, including 8.4(4), 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, and 8.1(2), and §2-32(a)(1) of the Connecticut Practice Book. As part of his reprimand, he was required to pay a restitution of $1,000. D’Onofrio refrained from providing a statement in response to the court’s decision.
Guy Soares, an attorney previously on inactive status due to physical illness in 2022, received a positive update. The court order indicated that his inactive status was terminated, and he was reinstated to practice law. Nevertheless, despite this significant change, Soares chose not to comment on the matter.
Brian A. Desautels faced an immediate inactive status and a trustee was appointed to safeguard the interests of his clients. A petition cited that Desautels was deemed “incapacitated from continuing to practice law by reason of mental infirmity or illness or because of drug dependency or addiction to alcohol.”
Lastly, Anthony Spinella, after being on inactive status since 2021, experienced reinstatement with certain constraints. He was ordered to continue mental, substance, or mental health treatments and provide proof of compliance to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. Additionally, Spinella was barred from accessing client funds. It is worth noting that he is also the subject of other pending disciplinary matters, as stated in a grievance decision.
These disciplinary actions, taken by the Connecticut courts, reaffirm the commitment to uphold the integrity of the legal profession and ensure accountability within the legal community. The court’s thorough assessment and appropriate responses demonstrate the seriousness with which such matters are handled.