Schenectady lawyer disbarred for invalid divorce

An attorney for the State Education Department has been disbarred after an appeals court said he was to blame for a client not being legally divorced when he was in private practice.

The justices of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division upheld a previous decision on disbarment by Albert Michael Braccini, who had been a lawyer since 1993.

The client had hired him to represent him in June 2010 and paid a $1,500 retainer. Braccini did not respond to multiple letters from the court seeking him to submit additional in the case between September 2010 through May 2012. The matter was dismissed by the court.

Then, Braccini presented the client with an envelope containing the divorce judgment. However, the man later learned that the document was fraudulent, according to the five-page decision.

Braccini did not deny that the document was forged, but said he did not create it. He said he relied on his former employee to advise him of the status of the matter. Braccini also said that he was waiting for the court to finalize an uncontested divorce.

The justices said that it took into account that Braccini is now employed in public service and his community involvement. However, the justices said that he had been disciplined for similar conduct and had 15 years of experience at the time of this incident. They concluded he must be disbarred “to protect the public, maintain the honor and integrity of the profession, or deter others from committing similar misconduct.”

The Times Union first reported the story.