A New York state appellate court has disbarred Elmsford lawyer Brian D. Primes for professional misconduct.
Primes defaulted on 15 charges, the Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Department, ruled on July 25, by failing to respond to the accusations.
Primes did not respond to telephone and email messages requesting his side of the story.
A court grievance committee accused him in November of failure to safeguard and account for client funds, misappropriation of client funds, commingling client funds with personal funds and other charges. The specifics of the charges are not detailed.
When Primes did not respond to the charges, the committee asked a panel of five appellate justices to find him guilty of professional misconduct that was “immediately threatening the public interest.”
The grievance committee had established the charges, the appellate panel ruled, and the justices granted a motion to disbar Primes. The panel included Justices Alan D. Scheinkman, Leonard B. Austin, Mark C. Dillon, William F. Mastro and Reinaldo E. Rivera.
In a LinkedIn profile, Primes described his law practice as a full-service civil and commercial litigation firm.
“Primary litigation areas involve severe personal injury, construction accidents, medical malpractice and toxic chemical exposures,” the profile states. “We handle accident cases with very complex fact patterns and catastrophic injuries in New York and are often successfully taking on matters that other firms decline.”
Last year, construction worker Dennis Paterra sued Primes, Paul G. Vesnaver and their law firms for legal malpractice for allegedly mishandling a lawsuit about injuries he suffered on a Bronx job site in 2007.
The men did not respond to the accusations, and on June 21, Westchester Supreme Court Justice Lawrence H. Ecker entered a default judgment against their law firms and against Primes personally.
Vesnaver voluntarily resigned as a lawyer in 2016, acknowledging that he could not successfully defend himself against charges of professional misconduct, and he was disbarred.