Bukh & Associates focuses on immigration law as well as criminal and matrimonial matters. Some of the damaged files contained original documents, such as immigration cases with passports, certificates from foreign countries.
"It's a huge problem," he said.
Bukh said he feels he can't ask clients to pay again to recreate documents that were destroyed.
"I can't sell the position to clients [to pay again] for something that was already done," he said. "We have to swallow the loss."
He said his firm ordinarily generates about $1.5 million a year in revenue.
"I wouldn't be surprised if we lose 30 percent of our income," he said.
Bukh said that most of the damaged files are from closed cases. Other than the papers rebuffed by Silber, he said, no other damaged papers have been submitted to a court.
Associate Antony Lembersky said he thought the papers reviewed by Silber "were still readable" when they were filed.
Lembersky said the court told a firm paralegal that the papers would be accepted if an attorney drafted an affirmation explaining why they were damaged. His firm wouldn't have bothered filing the papers if it knew in advance they weren't suitable, he said.
The papers at issue were an order to show cause filed by Bukh & Associates in its effort to identify the source of allegedly defamatory comments about the firm that were posted on the website of Ratingz Inc., a California company.