Sex Offender Lawyer License Suspended

 

Attorney Steven J. Lever, a convicted sex offender, received a three-year suspension from practicing law in New York in December 2008.  Lever was convicted of a misdemeanor charge and sentenced to six years' probation and certified as a level-one sexual offender in a situation involving a 13-year old girl. 

 

Because there was no previous case law, the court remained divided on the appropriate punishment for Lever.  Case law for similar situations called for punishment that ranged from a simple reprimand to disbarment.  The majority did not believe disbarment was "not the exclusive sanction for a single sexual offense involving solicitation of a minor, especially where significant mitigation exists."

 

In this case, the court found that the mitigating factors were Lever seeking treatment, taking responsibility for his actions and cooperating with the criminal and disciplinary investigation.  This apparently entitled Lever to some leniency by the court in its decision.

 

Source:  “Attorney Caught in Internet Sex Sting Suspended From Practice for 3 Years”, Mark Fass, New York Law Journal, December 21, 2008, http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202427117905