ALBANY – Former Pleasant Valley Town Judge Tom Vasti, a lawyer, has been suspended from practicing law in New York for one year. The decision from the Second Department of the New York State Appellate Division goes into effect on March 19, 2021 and lasts for one year. Vasti had resigned from his judgeship in September of 2020 citing personal reasons.
Vasti had been a practicing attorney in New York since 1992. A complaint filed by former clients surrounding Vasti’s actions in their wrongful death case led to an investigation by the grievance committee, which produced nine charges against Vasti. The original complaint filed by his clients, and verified by the grievance committee says that Vasti failed to notify his clients that the wrongful death case they were pursuing had been dismissed by the court. The grievance committee indicated that this is not the first instance in which Vasti has failed to respond to inquiries from his clients.
The order suspending Vasti, signed on February 17, 2021, says in part “ORDERED that the respondent, Thomas F. Vasti III, admitted as Thomas Francis Vasti III, is suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year, commencing March 19, 2021, and continuing until further order of this Court. The respondent shall not apply for reinstatement earlier than December 19, 2021. In such application (see 22 NYCRR 1240.16, 691.11), the respondent shall furnish satisfactory proof that during the period of suspension he: (1) refrained from practicing or attempting to practice law, (2) fully complied with this opinion and order and with the terms and provisions of the rules governing the conduct of disbarred or suspended attorneys (see 22 NYCRR 1240.15), (3) complied with the applicable continuing legal education requirements of 22 NYCRR 691.11(a), and (4) otherwise properly conducted himself.”
Local attorneys, speaking on condition of anonymity, have said that there is a possibility that several other clients represented by Vasti are considering charges. More than a few have contacted the local bar association because their attorney has not responded to their requests for updates on their cases, they said.
Individuals affected by the actions of Mr. Vasti or any other attorney in New York can obtain complaint information here.