Home Courts Yonkers attorney suspended for 3 years for mishandling funds

Yonkers attorney suspended for 3 years for mishandling funds

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An attorney from Yonkers has been suspended from the practice of law for three years for mishandling client funds.

A panel of five justices on the state’s Second Appellate Court ruled on Oct. 10 that Osvaldo J. Gonzalez’s “admitted misconduct” warranted the suspension.

Osvaldo J. Gonzalez
Osvaldo J. Gonzalez. From a YouTube post in December 2016.

The grievance committee for the Ninth Judicial District, representing Westchester and four other counties in the lower Hudson Valley, accused Gonzalez in January of seven charges of professional misconduct.

Gonzalez, who also goes by the first name Ozzie, consented to the grievance committee’s findings and to the discipline.

They stipulated that he had commingled $102,500 in legal fees he earned through Excelsior Legal Services, a legal service and referral agency he owns, with client funds.

He failed to promptly disburse $92,827 in funds, securities and property to eight clients, from 2014 to 2016. He failed to account for $74,956 in disbursements to seven clients. He failed to reconcile the special client account and he failed to maintain required records.

The appellate court gave him credit for representing low-income and indigent clients in criminal matters for much of his career and for agreeing to monitoring by the Lawyer’s Assistance Program. But they also noted that he had been admonished in 1994 for failing to return an unearned fee after a client discharged him.

He has practiced law in New York for 39 years.

The suspension will begin on Nov. 9.

Gonzalez listed his areas of practice as general civil and criminal work, personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability and white collar crime, in a LinkedIn profile.

For several years, he practiced from an office in Mount Vernon.

He did not respond to an email message requesting comment.

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