Lawyer Avoids Jail in Contempt Case

December 24, 2007 An attorney who ducked and weaved for years to avoid paying a malpractice judgment was given a second chance last week, but with conditions. Southern District of New York Judge Denise Cote sentenced David A. Dorfman to two years of probation for criminal contempt, a charge that was brought only because the judge became so frustrated with Dorfman that she asked prosecutors to intervene and indict him.

Dorfman's troubles began in 1994, when, just 27 years old and two years removed from Boston University School of Law, he was hired by Ricky Baker, who wanted to sue New York City after he had been misdiagnosed as HIV-positive. Baker contended that he hired Dorfman because the lawyer claimed he had founded a "dynamic" law practice and falsely represented that he had created the healthcare L.L.M. program at New York University School of Law and acted as counsel to health care companies.

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