Case Detail
CitationIn re Stuart, 803 N.Y.S.2d 577 (N.Y. App. Div. 2005)
CrimeMurder
StateNY
Pros. First NameClaude
Pros. Last NameStuart
FederalNo
Trial Year2002
BodyAppeals court
OpinionThe Supreme Court, Appellate Division, held that Prosecutor Claude Stuart's professional misconduct in giving false information to a judge in a criminal homicide trial warranted sanction of three year suspension from practice of law: "On or about May 8, 2002, Justice Rios questioned the respondent about the whereabouts of the witness. The respondent informed the court that several attempts had been made to contact the witness at her last known address in Queens. The respondent indicated that attempts were underway to track the witness at a Manhattan residence but that she had not yet been located. On or about May 31, 2002, the respondent ascertained the whereabouts of the witness and met with her at her place of employment. On or about June 4, 2002, Justice Rios revisited the issue of the alleged Brady violation and inquired as to the witness's whereabouts. The respondent falsely indicated on the record that he still had no knowledge of her whereabouts. . . .As a result of the respondent's misleading response to the court, the criminal matter had to be retried. Notwithstanding the respondent's claims that he lacked venality and the mitigation advanced, such conduct strikes at the heart of his credibility as a prosecutor and an officer of the court. As the Special Referee noted, the respondent had ample opportunity at the trial to correct or clarify his earlier false statement but opted not to do so. In essence, the respondent made a costly misrepresentation to the trial court which necessitated the retrial of the criminal action involving a major felony. Under the totality of circumstances, the respondent is suspended from the practice of law for a period of three years."
Determination Year2002
Misconduct TypeP
C/S EffectNew trial
Pros. Misc. ReportedYes
SanctionsYes
Sanction TypeSuspension
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