Michael Zulandt, a former Cravath associate, has been barred from practice for three years by a New York Court. He pleaded guilty to third-degree misdemeanor assault charges in 2008. Specifically, Zulandt hammered his ex-girlfriend’s Cartier watch, filled her purse with water, punctured her painting, and doused and damaged her couch with water and oil. He admitted that he “always had a temper.” He was subsequently sentenced to ten months in jail and was ordered to pay the victim $8,273 in damages. He was released June 2009.
This is not an isolated incident. Zulandt admitted that he had manhandled his girlfriend before. This time, he slapped her face, slammed her repeatedly against the floor, and called her derogatory names. But in the past, “he has admitted that he pushed [his girlfriend] to the ground,” said the court.
After seeking therapy for his anger, the 2005 graduate of University Michigan Law School was diagnosed as having “intermittent explosive disorder.” This Thursday, the Appellate Division , First Department was not convinced the incident was “explosive.” They extended his 6-month suspension to three years because, they said, “We are persuaded that respondent engaged in a calculated pattern of cruelty that was not the product of intermittent explosive disorder described by his expert.”
They claimed their purpose was not to punish Zulandt, but to “protect the courts and public from attorneys that are unfit for practice.” He was ruled guilty of professional misconduct, which puts into question his honesty, trustworthiness, and fitness as a lawyer. Cravath, Swaine & Moore have refused to comment, as has Zulandt’s lawyer (he was represented by Kelley, Drye & Warren partner James Keneally).
Zulandt was admitted to practice in June 2006, and was not long at Cravath before this incident.. There is no report whether he has worked since he finished his ten month jail sentence and since he left Cravath.