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Letter: Assigned Counsel Program serves as a model statewide

Assigned Counsel Program serves as a model statewide

In a recent News article concerning the attorney who was not licensed in New York, District Attorney Frank Sedita is reported as saying that the attorney told our program that he was in the process of being admitted to practice in this state, “but nobody asked for proof.” The truth is that he signed numerous statements, sworn under penalty of perjury, that he had in fact been admitted in New York.

Further, at the time he applied to work through our office, most legal organizations did not ask for proof of licensure. This included the District Attorney’s Office, according to Frank Clark, Sedita’s predecessor as DA. The same was true for the other organizations for which this attorney worked, including the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, through which he represented far more clients than he did through our program.

Our Assigned Counsel Program is known statewide as the model for such programs, in part for the quality of its supervision and training. This incident does not change that.

Robert D. Lonski

Administrator

Assigned Counsel Program

Buffalo