An appellate court suspended Yonkers attorney, JenniElena Rubino, from practicing law for two years as a consequence of allowing her husband represent clients in New York without the necessary licenses.
JenniElena Rubino is a licensed attorney in both New York and New Jersey. She has been practicing law since 2007. Her husband, Jean Paul Le Du, achieved a license to practice law in New Jersey in 2017. However, he failed to pass the New York bar examination in the same year.
Despite this, he participated in 30 cases in New York, including three instances where he had no valid license anywhere.
The disciplinary proceeding against Rubino began in 2019 when the The Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District took action.
The complaint pointed to various instances of improper conduct. One instance included Le Du examining a defendant in a Bronx case before he even obtaining his licensed in New Jersey. In another case, he conducted jury selection in Suffolk County. This ultimately led to the disbandment of the jury when the judge learned Le Du did not have the proper New York credentials. Rubino later attempted to seek permission retroactively for her husband’s participation, which was denied by the court.
Rubino admitted to aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law but disputed three misconduct charges. She argued that she believed Le Du could practice under her supervision without requiring approval from the overseeing judges.
The matter was referred to a special referee, Alfred J. Weiner, in 2019. After a hearing in 2021 and Weiner’s report in 2022, the primary charge of aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law was sustained. However, three charges of professional misconduct were not sustained.
The lawyer’s grievance committee appealed, asking the Second Appellate Court to uphold all charges. The justices ultimately concurred with the committee’s request. The panel determined that Rubino violated four charges of professional misconduct, including engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. They found that her actions adversely reflected on her fitness as a lawyer.
The justices decided on a two-year suspension from the practice of law for Rubino. This suspension will commence on October 13th, 2023.