An appellate court has issued a public scolding of the Big Apple lawyer who in 2018 hurled racist comments at a Spanish-speaking restaurant worker.
Lawyer Aaron Schlossberg was brought up on charges by the Attorney Grievance Committee in July 2020 after he went on a racist rant and threatened to call immigration on Midtown Fresh Kitchen workers for speaking Spanish in a May 16, 2018, incident that was caught on a video clip that went viral.
“If they have the balls to come here and live off of my money — I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here — the least they can do is speak English,” Schlossberg could be seen yelling in the nearly minute-long video.
“If you intend on running a place in Midtown Manhattan, the staff should be speaking English, not Spanish!”
In the AGC case, the 44-year-old lawyer admitted to one count that he “engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer,” and agreed with the AGC “that the appropriate sanction is a public censure,” according to a First Department, Appellate Division ruling from Tuesday.
The agreement needed to be approved by the appellate court, which on Tuesday ordered Schlossberg to be “publicly censured for his misconduct,” the ruling shows.
The AGC and the appellate court found it to be a sufficient punishment for reasons including that Schlossberg made a remorseful public apology, has no prior discipline on his record, cooperated with the AGC’s investigation, has never brought that “prejudice and intemperance” into his practice of law and the fact that he didn’t mention that he was a lawyer during the incident.
Also, Schlossberg at his AGC hearing “repudiated his conduct as indefensible,” and “rejects and repudiates any notion that an individual’s race or national origin controls or limits their worth or right to equal protection under the law,” the court papers say.
Further, the publicity around the incident has already hurt his professional reputation and his social and family relationships. He’s also received threats in the wake of the incident including a suspicious white powder being sent to his former office.
The appellate court also approved Schlossberg’s request to seal two videos of the incident that were entered as evidence in the case against him.
Schlossberg’s lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment.