Mark Twain coined the phrase, and it remains true today. “An attorney who represents himself…” Anthony Lin in the New York Law Journal tell us:
“A Manhattan Housing Court judge has sanctioned a well-known real estate lawyer who withheld maintenance on his own Park Avenue co-op for lying “repeatedly and without shame” in a 2005 nonpayment proceeding.
The co-op board of 1050 Park Avenue brought an action against attorney Steven R. Lapidus in 2004, claiming he was illegally withholding maintenance payments in violation of a 1999 stipulation that settled an earlier nonpayment action.
But Mr. Lapidus claimed at his 2005 nonpayment trial that he did not know about the 1999 stipulation and could not be bound by it. He said his lawyer at the time, a former associate at his firm, had executed the agreement without his permission and never informed him about it.
Housing Court Judge Gerald Lebovits (See Profile) called Mr. Lapidus’s claims “unbelievable” in sanctioning him $10,000 for making a frivolous misrepresentation. In a decision issued last week, the judge also said the matter would be reported to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee.”