By Daniel Wiessner
ALBANY, N.Y., Sept 27 (Reuters) - A New York state appeals
court has censured prominent Albany defense attorney Terence
Kindlon for photographing a document left on a prosecutor's
table during a recess in a criminal trial.
During the 2011 assault trial, Kindlon, of Kindlon & Shanks,
took a picture of a letter in which the prosecutor handling the
case had asked a former colleague, who had worked on the matter
before leaving the Albany district attorney's office,
for information about the defendant.
The Appellate Division, Third Department, on Thursday said
Kindlon had engaged in "undignified" and "discourteous conduct."
"No excuses. I was wrong," Kindlon wrote in an email on
Thursday. "I regret this happened and I unconditionally accept
The Third Department did not explain why Kindlon took the
picture, and he declined to comment beyond the email.
A spokesman for Albany County District Attorney David Soares
declined to comment.
Kindlon's client in the case, former Army captain Kevin
Powell, ultimately was convicted of assault for hitting a woman
in the head with a beer glass at an Albany bar.
Former assistant district attorney Bruce Leonard was
originally assigned to Powell's case but left the prosecutor's
office before the trial began. Leonard's replacement, Brian
Conley, wrote to him in early 2011 seeking more information
about the defendant's military background.
Kindlon photographed Leonard's response to Conley, which
advised him to emphasize that Powell was trained in
combat as part of the prosecution's strategy.
The Third Department noted in its ruling that Kindlon had
received three letters of caution since 1997, but the court did
not say why he received them. Letters of caution are not
released to the public.
"In mitigation, we note (Kindlon's) otherwise distinguished
legal career and laudable community service," the court wrote.
The panel included Presiding Justice Karen Peters and
justices Robert Rose, John Lahtinen, Edward Spain and Michael
Kindlon, a Vietnam veteran, began his career as a public
defender and has been in private practice for more than 30
years. He is a founding member of the state Association of
Criminal Defense Lawyers.
The case is the Matter of Terence Kindlon, New York State
Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, No.
For Kindlon: Lee Kindlon of Kindlon & Shanks.
For the Committee on Professional Standards: Peter
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