Saturday, January 21, 2017

Judge Hits Lawyer w/ 5-Year License Suspension For Pocketing Clients' Upfront Fees In Three Separate Foreclosure Cases, Then Failing To Provide Them A Defense In Court

In Hartford, Connecticut, The Connecticut Law Tribune reports:
  • A New Britain attorney was suspended for five years and ordered to pay restitution after a Hartford Superior Court judge ruled he took on three clients in separate foreclosure matters and never defended them in court.

    In a six-page decision issued Dec. 28, Judge Antonio Robaina wrote that attorney Anthony V. Zeolla had a pattern of deception that factored into the discipline that was doled out. Zeolla was also reprimanded in 2014 for failing to communicate to a client the scope of his legal representation and the basis for attorney fees.

    Robaina wrote "the court has considered his prior disciplinary history, the pattern of misconduct, the aforementioned failure to appeal and file answers in his disciplinary matters, the failure to address the issue of restitution and the failure to rectify the damage caused by his misconduct."

    The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel filed a summons laying out the complaint against Zeolla in April. Documents show Zeolla used similar tactics against all three clients: he'd collect their money in a foreclosure case and then either never or rarely speak to them again...