In trouble with disciplinary board, lawyer in frivolous ADA suits gives up license
September 29, 2017 06:13 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The attorney at the center of 99 ADA compliance-related lawsuits gave up her license after the state Supreme Court Disciplinary Board found she broke at least 12 rules of professional conduct and lied under oath in court.
The 4 Investigates team extensively covered the story of attorney Sharon Pomeranz who abused a federal law in an attempt to swindle several Albuquerque businesses. Every lawsuit, all with plaintiff Alyssa Carton, claimed those businesses violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Now Pomeranz won't be practicing law anymore.
Pomeranz was very much a part of a legal strategy sweeping across the southwest that tried to make a quick buck by exploiting ADA laws. When she got caught, she tried to worm her way out by telling lie after lie.
After 4 Investigates ran a report exposing the scheme, the court called Pomeranz and Carton in to prove their lawsuits were not frivolous and malicious. Pomeranz tried hard not to reveal she had been working with the controversial group Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID), based in Phoenix. AID orchestrates lawsuits targeting small businesses with ADA violation claims.
When 4 Investigates questioned Pomeranz after the hearing in May, she got defensive.
Recently, the disciplinary board found Pomeranz did more than just lie. It found her to be incompetent as a lawyer -- improperly filing court documents, abdicating her responsibility to consult and litigate on behalf of her client, and accepting funds from AID.
Courts in Arizona, Colorado and Nevada are watching what happened with this case in New Mexico. A federal judge recognized something was off and took the time to investigate it. AID is still trying to squeeze money from businesses through lawsuits in other states.
Pomeranz agreed to give up her license to practice law in New Mexico, in lieu of facing discipline from the Board. If she wants to practice law again, she must wait three years and take on additional training.
Updated: September 29, 2017 06:13 AM
Created: September 28, 2017 09:05 PM
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