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Ethical Issues in New York State Escrow Accounts 2016


Speaker(s): Christine M. Fecko, Deborah A. Scalise, Nancy Bolger Gabriel, Timothy O'Sullivan
Recorded on: Jun. 28, 2016
PLI Program #: 149523

Christine M. Fecko has been the General Counsel of the IOLA Fund of the State of New York since 2011.  She is active within the National Association of IOLTA Programs and also currently serves on the New York State Bar Association’s (“NYSBA”) President’s Committee on Access to Justice, the NYSBA Committee on Legal Aid, the NYC Bar Association Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee and the Technology Working Group of the New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice. 

Prior to joining the IOLA Fund, Ms. Fecko spent nearly five years as the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of My Sisters’ Place, a non-profit organization providing social and legal services to domestic violence victims in Westchester County, New York.  Previously, she practiced commercial litigation in New York City for over ten years at McGuireWoods LLP and Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.  Ms. Fecko served as a member of the Westchester County Domestic Violence Council and secretary to the New York City Lawyers Committee Against Domestic Violence; she is a former Chair of the NYC Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Services for Persons of Moderate Means.  After her graduation from the New York University School of Law, she clerked for Chief Judge F.A. Little, Jr. of the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana.  She earned a B.A. from SUNY Binghamton in History and Women’s Studies. 
Publications include:

• Christine M. Fecko, An IOLTA New Year’s Resolution: Increase Technology Support, 19 Dialogue 1 (2016), at http://www.americanbar.org/publications/dialogue/volume/19/winter-2016.html.

• Christine M. Fecko & Joseph S. Genova, The Interest on Lawyer Account Fund of the State of New York, in Attorney Escrow Accounts—Rules Regulations and Related Topics Chapter 3 (Peter V. Coffey & Anne Reynolds Copps, eds., 4th ed., 2015).

• Amy Siniscalchi, Christine M. Fecko & Hamra Ahmad, Services for Trafficking Victims:  A Brief Guide for Lawyers, in Lawyer's Manual on Human Trafficking:  Pursuing Justice for Victims 241-254 (Jill Laurie Goodman & Dorchen A. Leidholdt eds., 2011).

• Christine M. Fecko & Joanne N. Sirotkin, A Case Study in Post-Nicholson Litigation, 12 A.B.A. Comm’n on Domestic Violence eNewsletter (2008), at http://www.abanet.org/domviol/enewsletter/vol12/expert2.html.


Nancy Bolger Gabriel


Graduate of St. John’s University and St. John’s University School of Law. 

Private practice at Deegan and Scibilia, Esqs. – Attorney malpractice defense.

Principal Attorney with the Appellate Division, Second Department, Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District.

CLE lecturer for Bar Associations and law schools.

Member: New York State Bar Association (Professional Discipline Committee)

   New York State Association of Disciplinary Attorneys.


Deborah A. Scalise is a partner in the firm SCALISE & HAMILTON LLP in Scarsdale, New York which focuses its practice on the representation of professionals (primarily lawyers and judges) in professional responsibility and ethics matters and white-collar criminal matters.  Since 2002, Ms. Scalise has appeared before the Character and Fitness Committees, the New York State and Federal Grievance Committees and the Judicial Conduct Commission. 

Prior to 2002, Ms. Scalise was Deputy Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Public Advocacy for the Westchester Region for the NY Attorney General’s Office and handled cases involving consumer frauds, civil rights and public integrity matters. Before that, she was Deputy Chief Counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department where she investigated and litigated complex disciplinary matters. She began her career as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, where she handled economic crimes and arson cases.  Ms. Scalise earned a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from John Jay College, CUNY and a Master of Arts Degree in Forensic Psychology from the John Jay College Graduate School, CUNY. 

In 2016, Ms. Scalise was appointed to the NYS Office of Court Administration CLE Board by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. She also testified before the 2015 OCA State Commission on Professional Discipline with regard to attorney mental health issues. Her authored materials, entitled “Ethically Dealing with Clients, Witnesses and Attorneys with Diminished Capacity,” were annexed to the Commission’s Report that issued recommendations as to the unification of the New York State disciplinary process. 

Ms. Scalise is a contributing author in “The Dementia Crisis” written by Robert Abrams, Esq., Editor, NYS Bar Association Journal, January 2017. She contributed a chapter to Oxford University Press’s The New York Rules of Professional Conduct: Opinions, Commentary, and Case Law, a treatise discussing ethical conduct, and frequently contributes articles related to professional responsibility and ethics issues for among others, the NYSBA Journal and State Bar News; the WBASNY and WWBA Newsletters; the WCBA Bar Journal; and the NYSTLA Bill of Particulars. 

In 2015 Ms. Scalise and her partner, Sarah Jo Hamilton were honored by NYCBA Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) for their continued support and contributions to LAP. In 2014, the firm received the WWBA’s Family Friendly Award.  In 2012, Ms. Scalise received WBASNY’s Marilyn Menge Award and in 2009 she received the Westchester County Above the Bar Pace Setter Award.  She was the subject of a profile in the ABA's Student Lawyer Magazine in its February 2005 issue.


Timothy J. O’Sullivan is the Executive Director and Counsel of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection of the State of New York.  Mr. O’Sullivan is a graduate of LeMoyne College and the Albany Law School.  Mr. O’Sullivan is the Treasurer for the National Client Protection Organization and a former member of the ABA Standing Committee on Client Protection.  He resides in Albany, New York, with his wife and two children.