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Attorney Sanctioned in His Own Divorce
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Summary: Leon Borstein, a partner at Borstein & Sheinbaum, was sanctioned for ignoring principles of matrimonial jurisprudence and acting illogical.

Attorney Leon Borstein went through a vicious divorce against his ex-wife Virginia Henneberry. A post-divorce lawsuit against his ex-wife was dismissed and “intended solely to harass” her. The unanimous panel of the Appellate Division, First Department overruled a lower courts ruling, giving Henneberry summary judgement, legal fees and sanctions to be paid for the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection.


Leon Borstein

Leon Borstein

Borstein sued his ex-wife, claiming he loaned her money and wanted that money to be credited back to him in their distribution of marital property. She asserted during the divorce proceedings that the $27,000 was joint property not a loan. She stated that his claim on the money was denied during the divorce action so the matter was res judicata. She asked for summary judgement, as well as attorney fees and sanctions.

The Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Donna Mills denied legal fees and sanctions in 2013 but gave her summary judgement. The First Department panel overruled this and gave her everything she asked for. Borstein was ordered to pay $5,000 to the Fund.

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Borstein claimed that during the divorce case, there was no specific ruling on the issue of the loan. The panel stated that he chose to ignore the matrimonial “court’s explicit statement that any arguments it did not address should be considered rejected”. He is an experienced divorce lawyer that knew better and his actions defied logic. Justice Judith Gische had sanctioned Borstein twice during the divorce proceedings.

Borstein graduated from Columbia Law School in 1968 and worked four years as assistant district attorney in Brooklyn. He has served as a special prosecutor for nursing home fraud before becoming a partner at Borstein & Sheinbaum. The divorce was the only time he has been sanctioned.

Henneberry was represented by Douglas Capuder at Capuder Fazio Giacoia.





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