|N E W S||Additional Information:|
|New York State||Frederick Miller|
|Lawyers Fund for Client Protection||Executive Director & Counsel|
Albany, N.Y. (October 8, 1997) The New York Lawyers Fund for
Client Protection has made 331 awards of reimbursement to law
clients of Andrew Robert Holman III, a lawyer who earlier this
year was suspended from the practice of law in both New York and
The 331 awards total $152,870. They reimburse legal fees
paid to Holman for representation in divorce and bankruptcy
proceedings. Holman took the fees, in advance, but provided none
or only minimal legal services before his suspension from practice by the Appellate Division, Second Department, in January.
Holman charged $79 for an uncontested divorce, plus court
filing fees of $270. For bankruptcy cases, his typical fee was
$299, plus a $150 court filing fee.
Holman was a sole practitioner who maintained law offices in Mineola, Manhattan and Jersey City, New Jersey. He has been suspended from the practice of law in both New York and New Jersey (3/24/97). Holman, who is being treated for alcohol and substance abuse, is expected to resign from the bar in both states.
The Lawyers Fund has received 450 claims for reimbursement from Holman's law clients. There are 45 claims pending with the fund that are being investigated to determine their eligibility for reimbursement.
Fund officials said that Holman, through his attorney Frank
X. Kilgannon of Mineola, cooperated fully with the fund's
investigation of his clients' applications for reimbursement.
Eleanor Breitel Alter, Chair of the Fund's Board of Trustees
and a partner in the Manhattan law firm of Kasowitz, Benson,
Torres & Friedman, also praised the efforts of the Attorney
Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District for its
efforts in steering hundreds of Holman's clients to the Lawyers
Fund for reimbursement.
Mrs. Alter noted that the Committee' efforts included special Saturday office hours so that Holman's clients could retrieve their legal files and papers. "That was public service in the best tradition of our profession," Mrs. Alter remarked.
The Lawyers Fund is financed by lawyers, not taxpayers. All
lawyers in New York, except retired lawyers and judges,
contribute $100 every two years to maintain the Albany-based
fund. The fund is administered by a seven-member Board of
Trustees appointed by the State Court of Appeals, New York's high
court. The Trustees serve without compensation. Since 1982,
they have restored more than $65 million to eligible law clients.
Typical losses covered by the Lawyers Fund include the
theft of estate assets, down payments in real estate
transactions, settlement proceeds in litigation, and money
embezzled in investments for clients.
The fund, which is headquartered in Albany, does not cover
losses resulting from a lawyer's malpractice or neglect, or
disputes concerning legal fees.