By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, Jan 9 (Reuters) - A Brooklyn attorney was
disbarred Wednesday for a range of misconduct, from fabricating
court orders to making misrepresentations to secure third-party
The Appellate Division, Second Department, sustained 26
charges against solo practitioner Gerard Tanella.
In ordering that Tanella be disbarred, the panel noted the
"absence of any mitigating factors."
"The severe and gross violations committed by the respondent
fully merit the special referee's conclusion that the respondent
is 'morally corrupt and intellectually bankrupt,'" the appellate
court wrote in a per curiam opinion.
Tanella, who appeared pro se, could not be reached for
The charges against Tanella were the result of an
investigation launched in response to seven complaints, dating
back as early as 2008.
The ruling said that Tanella had helped secure thousands of
dollars of advance litigation funding from three separate
entities in connection with claims that had never been filed.
In one instance, he fabricated a court order to convince a
third-party litigation funding entity that his client had
reached a $35,000 settlement, according to the ruling.
Tanella also was accused of escrow violations, "serial
neglect" of client matters and writing bad checks from his
personal and business accounts, the ruling said.
After a January 2012 hearing, a special referee issued a
report sustaining 26 charges of misconduct against Tanella.
The Grievance Committee for the Second, 11th, and 13th
Judicial Districts moved to confirm the report.
Tanella opposed the motion and asked the appeals court to
grant him a new hearing, saying he had not been given the
opportunity to present character and other medical evidence.
The Second Department rejected his request.
The per curiam ruling was joined by Presiding Justice
Randall Eng and Justices William Mastro, Reinaldo Rivera, Peter
Skelos and Mark Dillon.
The case is In the Matter of Gerard M. Tanella, New York
State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, No.
For the Grievance Committee: Myron Martynetz.
For Tanella: Pro se.
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