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In a Labor Hearing a complainant admits to criminal action? What obligation does the ALJ and Labor Attorney have in reporting?

Bronx, NY |

A labor complainant admits on the record to stealing documents protected under PHL 230 from the Department of Health. Information obtained from this theft is used by the Labor investigator in the investigation and determination. Despite the admission on the record of the crime no action has been taken by the hearing officer or the Labor attorney (as it would undo the case at hand). What are the proper steps in reporting this crime and the violation should the Labor attorney not fulfill his/her ethical and professional obligations on this matter? What can be done when a lawyer is so driven to win a case that they ignore the code of professional conduct that is very specific in this instance? Complaining to the ethics committee will not win this case. Any advice?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. I don't believe it would undo the case at hand, the evidence is the evidence. That said, you are certainly free to report the theft to the police or district attorney's office yourself.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/employattorney) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WhiteRicottaandMarks) if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.


  2. Lawyers must reveal information when a lawyer "reasonably believes necessary to prevent a client from committing a crime or to prevent a death or substantial bodily harm to another". Your facts do not appear to fit this requirement. We can not give advice on this site but can only state that past crimes are what they are. However, we most certainly can not assist another person (lawyer or client) in perjuring themselves or advancing a position which we reasonably believe is not supported by the facts, the evidence, or an argument to change the law. Again, your facts do not appear to fit this situation.

    Not legal advice / No lawyer/client relationship.


  3. I don't believe, based on the facts you present, that the lawyer would be under an ethical duty to report the complainant's behavior.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/employattorney) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WhiteRicottaandMarks) if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.

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