Albany Surrogate Fights Removal Recommendation

, New York Law Journal

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Surrogate Doyle
Surrogate Doyle

An Albany County Surrogate targeted for removal from office for presiding over several matters involving friends is challenging the 8-2 decision of the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Surrogate Cathryn Doyle's attorney, William Dreyer of Dreyer Boyajian in Albany, has asked the Court of Appeals to review the Nov. 12 determination calling for his client's banishment from the judiciary.

The commission found that Doyle improperly presided over matters involving her personal attorney, an attorney who served as her campaign manager and a lawyer who represented her in a prior disciplinary action. It said that Doyle, who was previously censured in an unrelated matter, should have been "especially sensitive to her ethical obligations" (NYLJ, Nov. 15).

However, two commissioners noted that there are no allegations that the attorneys or their clients received special treatment and said Doyle's participation in the cases largely amounted to ministerial acts. They said "the extreme sanction of removal" was not warranted.

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