WilmerHale and Willkie partners guilty of misconduct

The summer has not been rosy for WilmerHale or Willkie Farr & Gallagher after both firms saw former New York partners suspended from practice for misconduct.

As revealed on www.thelawyer.com (2 August), former Willkie tax partner Patrick Carmody was suspended for one year after being caught billing clients for around 129 hours, or $30,000 (£16,000) worth of personal phone calls.

The Appellate Division, First Department enforced the suspension on 27 July after Carmody admitted to having made the long-distance calls over two years and billing them to several clients. He resigned from Willkie in April 2003 after another partner discovered his misconduct.

Meanwhile, former WilmerHale partner William DiSalvatore met a similar fate in August, resigning from the US bar after admitting to an array of misconduct charges.

DiSalvatore’s resignation from the bar was approved by the Appellate Division on 10 August, ending a disciplinary investigation thought likely to end in his disbarment.

It followed his resignation from the firm’s partnership in January 2006 after an internal investigation revealed what the firm has described as “a pattern of improper action”.

In an affidavit sent to the Appellate Division in May, DiSalvatore admitted forging client signatures on a consent to joint representation and on a conflict waiver. He also said he had falsified credit card receipts to claim business expenses from the firm to pay for $109,000 (£57,000) in personal expenses.

DiSalvatore had been one of WilmerHale’s most promising rising litigators in the firm’s IP practice, having joined the New York office of Hale and Dorr in 2000 prior to its 2004 merger with Wilmer Cutler & Pickering.