Circuit Reprimands Lawyer for Missing Deadlines
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reprimanded an attorney Friday, reiterating that the days of tolerated noncompliance with the court's scheduling orders are long -gone. Mario DeMarco of Port Chester failed to file timely petitions for review, filed briefs that did not address issues the court wanted addressed, failed to file a required form in 11 cases and failed to timely file a brief in 10 cases, the circuit found.
But a three-judge panel agreed with the court's Committee on Admissions and Grievances that only a public reprimand instead of a suspension was warranted, because the evidence showed his "conduct was negligent rather than deliberate, that he did not deliberately mislead the Court or Committee, and that some of the deficient conduct resulted from inadequate supervision of employees rather than his own direct negligence."
The court also noted another consideration—the more casual attitude toward deadlines in 2003, when some of DeMarco's mistakes were made. At the time, it said, "DeMarco (and an unfortunate number of other attorneys) considered the Court's scheduling orders to be essentially non-mandatory, as not truly orders carrying the imprimatur of the judges of the court. As suggested by the Committee, the Court's overly-generous practice, at the time, of not immediately defaulting cases in which the petitioners failed to abide by scheduling orders caused a number of attorneys to treat those scheduling orders as something less than mandatory."
This practice, since corrected by the circuit in insisting that deadlines are for real and missing them has consequences, (NYLJ, May 3, 2012), helped the circuit to conclude that DeMarco "did not deliberately mislead." The decision In re Mario DeMarco, 09-90045-am, was made by Judges Jose Cabranes (See Profile), Robert Sack (See Profile) and Richard Wesley (See Profile). DeMarco, who appeared pro se, did not return a call seeking comment.
The 10-member committee is chaired by Paul Curnin of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.