On Thursday, July 13, 2023, the State of New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division Third Judicial Department disbarred attorney Nicholas R. Canizio for failure to cooperate with the Attorney Grievance Committee’s investigation.
The case is entitled “In the matter of Nicholas R. Canizio”, and was bought by the Attorney Grievance Committee with case no. PM-151-23.
Following a dishonored check report concerning Canizio’s escrow account issued by a bank in October 2016, the Attorney Grievance Committee for the Third Judicial Department (AGC) initiated an investigation into Canizio’s conduct. AGC alleged that the same had been uncooperative during the investigation, prompting them to move for his interim suspension. The court granted AGC’s motion, resulting in Canizio’s indefinite suspension on November 3, 2022, as per the order in Matter of Canizio, 210 AD3d 1187, 1188-1889 [3d Dept 2022].
AGC then sought the respondent’s disbarment through an order to show cause marked returnable on June 26, 2023. AGC alleged Canizio’s continued lack of cooperation with their investigation of his conduct, potentially leading to disbarment in accordance with Rules for Attorney Disciplinary Matters [22 NYCRR] § 1240.9(b). Alternatively, AGC sought to hold Canizio in contempt of the court’s order of suspension due to his continued practice of law while under suspension.
AGC had provided Canizio with a copy of the court’s suspension order, warning that failure to comply could result in disbarment. Despite the warning and documentation, the same continued to practice law, represent clients, and provide legal advice, even after the suspension order. Canizio’s failure to respond to the motion and other client complaints, along with the failure to maintain attorney registration requirements, further exacerbated the situation.
The filing states:
“AGC has produced various documents that demonstrate that, since the suspension order was issued, the respondent has continued to engage in the practice of law, representing clients and providing legal advice. Moreover, the respondent’s conduct is further aggravated by his failure to respond to the instant motion.”
Considering the uncontroverted evidence presented by AGC and Canizio’s failure to dispute the allegations, the court found the latter’s conduct to be prejudicial to the administration of justice. As a result, the court decided to disbar Canizio, holding him accountable for the unauthorized practice of law and the violation of the court’s order of suspension.
The Disposition states:
“ORDERED that the motion of the Attorney Grievance Committee for the Third Judicial Department is granted in its entirety, and it is further ORDERED that respondent is disbarred and his name is stricken from the roll of attorneys and counselors-at-law of the State of New York, effective immediately.”
Before his disbarment, Mr. Canizio practiced in Newark Valley, New York, and held a valid license in the state with license no. 1623727. His info can be found on avvo.com.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.