3. Attorneys

79 DOS 91 Matter of Pennisi - attorneys do not need license and will be issued real estate broker license without taking written exam or proving trustworthiness

135 DOS 92 Matter of Lazar & Cambridge Mgmt. Corp. - where attorney engages in real estate brokerage through a corporation, a real estate license is required; immaterial that shareholders of management corporation are same as shareholders of corporation that owns the real property; but no license required if brokerage services are rendered without compensation

24 DOS 93 Matter of DOS v. Huber - attorney/broker obligated to post signs (RPL §441-a[3]); not obligated to attend continuing education

26 DOS 93 Matter of DOS v. Stabile - attorney/broker obligated to post sign (RPL §2441-a[3]); failure to file change of address

Kornreich & Sons v. Goldsmith Murphy, 156 Misc.2d 207 - corporation must have license in order to collect commission (RPL §442-d); exemption for attorneys is personal and fact that corporate officer is attorney does not allow corporation to collect

Matter of Huber v. Shaffer (160 Misc. 2d 923) charge of failure to post real estate broker sign on outside of building dismissed against attorney/broker; requirement for attorney licensed as broker to comply distinguished (Canelli v. Department of State, 16 A.D.2d 352), and exemption of RPL §442-f applied; DOS does not challenge petitioner's honesty or competence.

118 DOS 94 Matter of Fusco - DOS retains jurisdiction to adjudicate violations occurring during licensure; attorney who is licensed as broker does not need to post a sign unless he actually engages in the real estate brokerage business

224 DOS 96, Matter of DOS v. Hahn - Attorney; notary public; due process; administrative hearing may proceed ex parte where there is evidence of proper service of notice of the place, time and purpose of the hearing; State’s evidence which is not impugned, not improbable and not surprising or suspicious is conclusive; applicant’s failure to appear on application for reappointment as a notary public is deemed a withdrawal of the request for a hearing; trustworthiness and competence is presumed for practicing attorney and not required to be proved for licensure; attorney’s disbarment for professional misconduct has an adverse effect on public and rebuts presumption of trustworthiness and competence and may be considered in determining trustworthiness and competence; application for reappointment as notary public denied; broker’s license revoked

240 DOS 97 Matter of DOS v. Embser - attorney; notary public; collateral estoppel and res judicata; attorney’s disbarment for breach of fiduciary duties to an estate and multiple violations involving trust funds warrants revocation of real estate broker’s license and notary public commission; evidence tendered to dispute findings of Appellate Division and disbarment is precluded by the principals of collateral estoppel and res judicata; signing checks using power of attorney after the death of the grantor of the power and failure to abide by various legal requirements warrants revocation of notary public commission

81 DOS 98 Matter of DOS v. Sandberg - attorney; notary public; adjournments; attorney/broker’s breach of fiduciary duty to his law partners by failing to account to his law firm for certain legal fees received demonstrates untrustworthiness; conduct not arising out of attorney/broker’s activities as a real estate broker may serve as the basis for revocation of his license by establishing untrustworthiness; acts of misconduct establishing untrustworthiness form basis for revocation of notary public commission; attorney/broker’s license as a real estate broker and commission as notary public were granted by virtue of being an attorney and basis no longer exists where licensee is disbarred; real estate broker’s license and notary public commission revoked

3 DOS APP 99 (312 DOS 98) Matter of Zer - administrative appeal; attorney; failure of licensee to appear at prior hearing to review denial of application for renewal of license was properly deemed a withdraw of request for a hearing; licensee fails to provide proof of claim that he was unable to appear at scheduled hearing due to emergency treatment; prior license was based on an exemption from the application of Article 12-A based upon status as attorney at law; applicant is no longer duly admitted to practice law and therefore is no longer eligible for exemption from the requirements of Article 12-A; prior determination denying renewal application confirmed

61 DOS 99 Matter of DOS v. Brenner - attorneys; basis for license as a real estate broker no longer exists where real estate brokers license was granted by virtue of respondent having been admitted to the practice of law and subsequently suspended from such practice; broker’s license suspended until such time as proof submitted that he has been reinstated to the practice of law

295 DOS 00 Matter of Cohen - attorney; prior misconduct; falsifying business records and violating campaign contribution laws; post disbarment employment as a real estate consultant, exemplary career prior to conviction, and numerous character affidavits sufficiently attenuate risk; brokerage license granted

647 DOS 00 Matter of DOS v. Paglia - attorneys; notary public; attorney granted license as a real estate broker and commission as a notary public by virtue of being admitted to the practice of law; subsequent suspension from the practice of law removes qualifying basis for broker’s license and notary commission; aspects of licensee’s conduct which resulted in suspension from the bar (failure to promptly refund unearned legal fees, commingling client funds and engaging in client transactions with a conflict of interest) directly relate to responsibilities as a real estate broker and demonstrate untrustworthiness; real estate broker’s license and notary commission revoked

595 DOS 01 Matter of Connolly - attorneys; prior misconduct; applicant has failed to establish that the findings underlying his disbarment from the practice of law do not demonstrate that he cannot be trusted to comply with the standards and to fulfill the duties which would be imposed upon him as a real estate salesperson; applicant disbarred for neglecting a legal matter entrusted to him for failing to appear in court, for withdrawing without having obtained permission of the court or his client, for failing to produce escrow records and failing to cooperate with Grievance Committee investigation, for falsely captioning a bank account as an “escrow” account to prevent its invasion by potential creditors, for failing to properly maintain the records of the special bank account and for converting funds he was required to hold in escrow as a contract deposit on behalf of a client and the prospective purchaser of that client’s house; application for a license as a real estate salesperson denied

744 DOS 02 DOS v. Agard – attorney; notary public; failure to appear at hearing; failure to cooperate with DOS investigation; ex parte hearing may proceed upon proof of proper service; notary public acts unlawfully when he notarizes a document without the purported signatory being present; broker fails to respond to two DOS letter requests to appear for an interview; notary public commission and license as a real estate broker revoked

140 DOS 04 Matter of Bell - attorneys; failure to appear at hearing; prior misconduct; ex parte hearing may proceed upon proof of proper service; DOS proposed to deny license renewal because applicant resigned from the practice of law and was disbarred; failure to appear at hearing is deemed to be withdrawal of request for hearing; renewal of broker’s license denied

583 DOS 05 DOS v. Scalise - attorneys; disclosure of agency relationships; unlicensed activity; broker-attorney failed to provide agency disclosure form; issues raised by the proof but not charged by the state include acting as an attorney and as a real estate broker in the same regulated real estate transaction and in the same legal document, not making clear as to what party the real estate broker is acting, acting as a real estate broker without informing the seller, demanding an unearned commission, and using legal process to collect an unearned commission; the tribunal is precluded from deciding issues not charged by DOS; broker fined $1,000.00

589 DOS 05 DOS v. Duval - appraisers; prior misconduct; failure to cooperate with DOS investigation; material misstatement on application; attorneys; broker failed to disclose on renewal application that he was disbarred from the practice of law; broker, as certified residential real estate appraiser, prepared appraisal reports which were inaccurate and misleading; DOS fails to prove failure to cooperate as charges of failure to cooperate related to broker’s conduct as a real estate appraiser and there are no equivalent provisions in the Executive Law, Article 6-e which govern the licensure and registration of real estate appraisers requiring such cooperation; broker’s license and certification as a residential real estate appraiser revoked

600 DOS 05 Matter of Bell - attorneys; prior misconduct; matter remanded for a new hearing after decision on default was appealed; DOS proposes denial of broker’s renewal application where broker’s license was initially issued on the basis of his status as an attorney and where applicant resigned as an attorney and counselor of law, thereby resulting in his disbarment; applicant’s resignation and disbarment resulted from his failure to properly supervise his attorney’s escrow account, which was in the control of his son who had an undisclosed gambling problem; applicant suffered a major loss due to his prior banking procedure and now maintains full control of his bank accounts and recognizes the need to be scrupulous in that regard; based upon high unlikelihood that applicant will ever allow the misuse of an escrow account to occur again, broker’s license granted

629 DOS 05 Matter of Levy - attorneys; prior misconduct; DOS proposes to deny application to renew broker’s license where applicant was suspended from the bar as an attorney resulting from applicant’s handling of funds in an IOLA account by failing to maintain accurate bookkeeping records; substantial evidence sufficiently attenuates any risk where two years have passed since applicant’s misconduct and applicant has engaged in real estate brokerage activities since then without complaint and without any misconduct; application for broker’s license renewal is granted

169 DOS 06 In the Matter of Muto- attorneys; prior misconduct; failure to appear at hearing; ex parte hearing may proceed upon proof of proper service; applicant for salesperson’s license was disbarred from the practice of law for gross neglect of his clients’ interests, misuse of trust funds and a pattern of dishonesty; disbarment creates a rebuttable presumption of untrustworthiness and incompetency which may be overcome through the provision of additional information and materials; applicant has clearly not established that he is trustworthy; application for license as a real estate salesperson denied

939 DOS 06 Matter of Snigur- renewal of license denied to attorney suspended from practice of law, who timely requested a hearing, but did not appear at scheduled hearing

438 DOS 08 Matter of DeLorenzo – broker; dishonest as attorney; escrow fund violation (no loss of money); unlicensed name; 3-month suspension or until proper name

462 DOS 08 Matter of Drakes – broker; false statement on renewal application; suspension from practice of law; revocation

869 DOS 08 Matter of Pitts – broker; false claim of being member of bar; availing of license; failure of proof re: RPL §443 disclosure form; failure of proof of no escrow account; no jurisdiction over unlicensed individuals; revocation and fine of $5,775 with interest if reapply

360 DOS 09 Matter of Depass – associate broker; failure of proof of charge of failure to disclose prior business association and failure to cooperate; conduct as attorney is relevant to determining trustworthiness and competitiveness; amend pleading to conform to proof; failure by account; fraudulent mortgage transactions; sham to refinance; revocation

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Fourth quarter Legal Lines now available

The fourth quarter 2019 edition of NYSAR’s Legal Lines is now available online at This edition covers new DOS proposed regulations, emotional support animals in housing, Landlord discrimination and more. Learn more