A lawyer who was disbarred following his felony drug conviction has been reinstated by the Appellate Division, Second Department, after the attorney's rehabilitation and vacatur of his conviction. The court reinstated Robert Macedonio yesterday after disbarring him in 2009.
The disbarment was triggered by Macedonio's 2008 guilty plea before Suffolk County Court Judge James Hudson to one count of fifth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class D felony. But last January, Hudson granted Macedonio's motion to vacate the felony conviction and instead accepted a plea to seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.
The Second Department's grievance committee then alleged one charge of professional misconductthat Macedonio engaged in illegal conductand asked the Second Department to impose whatever punishment it saw fit. Macedonio asked the court to reinstate him, deeming his prior removal as a suspension. In Matter of Macedonio, 2009-01871, which appears on page 4 of the print edition, the panel agreed. The court noted that Macedonio, who was admitted to the bar in 1993, had undergone an "intensive rehabilitation program" and was now drug free. At the disciplinary hearing following the imposition of the misdemeanor conviction, Macedonio "presented substantial evidence that he has successfully turned his life around and that he is fit to resume the practice of law," said the panel. It was "appropriate" to retroactively impose a two-year suspension from the date of Macedonio's 2008 felony conviction and immediately reinstate him, according to the panel, which consisted of Justices Randall Eng (See Profile), William Mastro (See Profile), Reinaldo Rivera (See Profile), Peter Skelos (See Profile) and Thomas Dickerson (See Profile).