On Wednesday, January 31, 2024, the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department publicly censured attorney Erik P. Jacobsen over a 2020 conviction for driving while intoxicated.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Erik P. Jacobsen,” with case no. 2021-07857.

The court case stemmed from Jacobsen’s April 2019 arrest in Rye City, New York, where he was pulled over by police for erratic driving and found to be highly intoxicated with a blood alcohol content over three times the legal limit. Jacobsen refused officers’ commands to exit his vehicle and had to be tased and removed by police. He was subsequently convicted of misdemeanor DWI in August 2020.

As an attorney admitted to the New York bar since 1994 and a former part-time town justice, Jacobsen’s conduct triggered disciplinary action. In 2022, a special referee held a hearing where Jacobsen testified about grieving the loss of his wife and drinking in excess that night. While acknowledging his actions were wrong, Jacobsen asked to avoid public discipline due to past publicity surrounding his case.

However, the appellate court was not convinced extra leniency was warranted. In their decision, the justices found Jacobsen failed to prove why he should not face suspension, censure, or disbarment. The court emphasized how his intoxicated driving endangered public safety, and his resistance to police drew unwanted attention.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court chose to publicly censure Jacobsen in light of the evidence. With this ruling, New York’s judiciary has made clear that attorneys will still face consequences even in the face of personal struggles, as driving under the influence violates professional standards and puts lives at risk.

According to avvo.com, Mr. Erik P. Jacobsen is an attorney in Bedford, New York. He attended the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and was licensed in New York in 1994.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.