On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, the Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division: Second Judicial Department suspended attorney Jennielena Rubino, also known for a period of two years. The decision comes after Rubino was found guilty of facilitating the unauthorized practice of law by her husband, Jean-Paul Le Du, who was not admitted to practice law in the State of New York.
The case is entitled “In the Matter of Jennielena Rubino,” with case no. 2019-09550.
The Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District filed the disciplinary proceedings against Rubino, citing multiple instances where she allowed Le Du to act as an attorney despite his lack of credentials. The committee also accused Rubino of violating rules 5.5(b), 8.4(c), (d), and (h) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. One of the key cases that brought the misconduct to light was the Khosrova v Hampton Bays Union Free School District, where Le Du was listed as the managing attorney on Rubino’s law firm website.
The Opinion and Order states:
“The respondent provided Le Du with business cards that stated that he was an attorney with the firm, located in Yonkers, New York, and listed his email address at the firm, as well as the firm’s website and telephone and fax numbers. The business cards also indicated that Le Du may be reached at the firm’s telephone or fax numbers listed on the business card.”
Le Du, who was not licensed to practice law in New York, also conducted jury selection and participated in court proceedings. Rubino did not inform the court or opposing counsel of Le Du’s unlicensed status. Another case, Smith v Lipsky, saw Le Du cross-examining an expert witness and delivering closing arguments, all while he was not admitted to practice law. Rubino failed to inform the court or opposing counsel during the proceedings.
The Special Referee initially sustained charge one, which accused Rubino of aiding the unauthorized practice of law, but failed to sustain charges two through four, which involved dishonesty, fraud, deceit, and misrepresentation. Upon review, the Supreme Court concluded that all charges were valid, leading to the two-year suspension.
Rubino, who had been an attorney since her admission to the Bar in 2007, cited personal challenges and health issues as contributing factors to her actions. The court took these factors into account but ultimately determined that a suspension was warranted.
In light of this decision, Rubino was prohibited from applying for reinstatement to the Bar for the duration of her suspension.
The Disposition states:
“Under the totality of the circumstances, we find that the respondent’s conduct warrants her suspension from the practice of law for a period of two years.”
Ms. Rubino runs her own law firm – Rubinolawfirm. According to avvo.com, Ms. Rubino is a personal injury attorney in Yonkers, New York. She attended the New York Law School, graduating in 2006. She acquired her law license in New York in 2007.
A copy of the original filing can be found here.