A state appellate court has censured a former White Plains attorney for his conduct in representing a disbarred attorney.The Supreme Court appellate division that oversees Westchester County ruled on Nov. 8 that Luigi Izzo had violated several rules of professional conduct while representing former White Plains attorney Stephen L. Segall.
Segall, 62, of New City, resigned as an attorney and was disbarred in 2011, as he was facing disciplinary actions. The nature of the charges was not disclosed in the appellate court’s disbarment opinion.
A year later, Izzo represented Segall in a grand larceny and forgery case in Westchester County Court. After Segall was convicted, Izzo pledged assets of his law firm to help Segall pay $62,000 in restitution.
He assigned part of his legal fees from 20 personal injury cases to Segall’s creditor. He revealed the names of his clients, dates of injury, insurance carriers, descriptions of claims, descriptions of the clients’ injuries and their current medical status, and his assessment of the value of settlements and verdicts.
Izzo neither notified nor sought his clients’ permission to release their information.
Two months later, Segall’s debt was revised to $68,000. Izzo pledged to repay the debt and granted a lien on all his firm’s personal injury cases.
He also met with the creditor but failed to ask if the creditor was represented by a lawyer. Izzo, who maintained offices in White Plains, Yorktown Heights and the Bronx, listed addresses on letters to the creditor that were not registered with the courts. He now works for a Bronx law firm.
The grievance committee ruled that Izzo had improperly guaranteed financial assistance to a client, revealed information protected by attorney-client privilege, engaged in improper communications and failed to register office addresses.
A panel of five justices concurred: “A public censure is warranted.”
Izzo admitted the violations and consented to the disciplinary action. He did not respond to a telephone message requesting comment.