On Wednesday, August 2, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department disbarred New City attorney Arnold William Blatt based on the Special Referee’s report sustaining the allegations of multiple instances of misconduct.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Arnold William Blatt,” and was instituted by the Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District, case no. 2020-05628.
The charges cited Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1(a), 1.1(b), 1.2(d), 1.3(b), 1.15(a), 1.15(b)(2), 1.15(c), 1.16(b)(1) and (c)(2), 8.4(c), and 8.4(h).
The New York Rules of Professional Conduct can be found here.
The Grievance Committee served Blatt with a notice of petition and a verified petition, containing 12 charges of professional misconduct related to several legal matters. These charges included accusations of Blatt misusing client funds, not properly managing his IOLA account, not keeping accurate records, and providing inadequate representation for an estate. Additionally, Blatt was accused of advising a client to engage in illegal activities, neglecting a legal matter, and providing legal services beyond his capability.
Specifically, the charges centered around Blatt’s negligent and improper handling of an estate which resulted in over $1 million being looted and mismanaged by the executor.
According to the court document, Blatt was suspended from the practice of law on June 2, 2021, and the matter was referred to a Special Referee, to hear and report.
Following a pre-hearing conference and hearing of the matter, the Special Referee issued a report concluding that Blatt was guilty of serious misconduct and sustained all 12 charges of misconduct.
Thereafter, the Grievance Committee filed a motion seeking the Court to confirm the Special Referee’s report. Blatt neither submitted any papers in response nor sought additional time to respond.
Accordingly, the Court, after substantiating all the 12 charges of professional misconduct, and upon finding that Blatt’s conduct reflects a disturbing pattern of fiduciary mismanagement, determined that disbarment is the appropriate measure of discipline to impose.
The decision to disbar Levine was supported by a panel of judges, including Hector D. LaSalle, Mark C. Dillon, Betsy Barros, Francesca E. Connolly, and Robert J. Miller.
Mr. Arnold William Blatt practiced in New City, prior to the disbarment. He attended Brooklyn Law School. Blatt had been licensed to practice in New York, license no. 2071736.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.