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Bill-Padding Attorney Gets Extended Suspension


— October 27, 2004

An attorney who bilked New York City’s Assigned Counsel Plan (ACP) out of thousands of dollars has been suspended for three years by the Appellate Division, First Department.

A hearing panel of the department’s Disciplinary Committee had recommended only a six-month suspension, citing the quality of the attorney’s work and her bouts with depression and alcohol abuse. The lawyer, Sara Goldman, was known as one of the most reliable and adept attorneys to handle alleged parole violations for inmates at Rikers Island, which she had done since 1989, co-workers and an administrative law judge said in letters.

But a unanimous panel of the First Department, writing in Matter of Goldman, M-1937, said such a brief suspension was “far too lenient given the duration and scope of [the attorney’s] misconduct.”

Goldman was paid $118,000 by the ACP in 1999 and another $112,115 in 2000. She billed more than 7,600 hours for work supposedly performed on all but eight days of those two years. That would be an average of 10.5 hours a day. In fact, she admitted she worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, court papers said.

And it wasn’t the first time she’d been caught overbilling. Details here from the New York Law Journal via Law.com.


An attorney who bilked New York City’s Assigned Counsel Plan (ACP) out of thousands of dollars has been suspended for three years by the Appellate Division, First Department.

A hearing panel of the department’s Disciplinary Committee had recommended only a six-month suspension, citing the quality of the attorney’s work and her bouts with depression and alcohol abuse. The lawyer, Sara Goldman, was known as one of the most reliable and adept attorneys to handle alleged parole violations for inmates at Rikers Island, which she had done since 1989, co-workers and an administrative law judge said in letters.

But a unanimous panel of the First Department, writing in Matter of Goldman, M-1937, said such a brief suspension was “far too lenient given the duration and scope of [the attorney’s] misconduct.”

Goldman was paid $118,000 by the ACP in 1999 and another $112,115 in 2000. She billed more than 7,600 hours for work supposedly performed on all but eight days of those two years. That would be an average of 10.5 hours a day. In fact, she admitted she worked 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, court papers said.

And it wasn’t the first time she’d been caught overbilling. Details here from the New York Law Journal via Law.com.

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