Grievance Against Jared Rosenblatt

Who: A group of law professors filed an ethics complaint in May 2021 against attorney Jared Rosenblatt, alleging Rosenblatt engaged in misconduct prosecuting Luis Cherry on behalf of the Queens District Attorney’s Office (QDAO). The complaint was filed with the Grievance Committee for the Tenth Judicial District and it was transferred to the Committee for the Second, Eleventh and Thirteenth Judicial Districts, the body that handles ethics complaints against attorneys in Queens. The following summary is based on the complaint.

What: The ethics complaint, also known as a grievance, is based on a New York Appellate Division case, People v. Cherry. According to the complaint, the Appellate Division found several of Rosenblatt’s opening and direct examination remarks “could only have been intended to evoke the jury’s sympathy” and were “improper.” The complaint details that the Appellate Division was even harsher in oral argument, with Justice Scheinkman noting that it was “obvious” that Rosenblatt “was saying things for the purpose of winning” the trial. Justice Austin exclaimed that many of Rosenblatt’s remarks “were irrelevant and only there to invoke sympathy! Your job … is not to invoke sympathy. It is not to have the jury thinking about tangential, irrelevant things.” The complaint alleges that the appellate prosecutor who argued Cherry on appeal conceded that some of Rosenblatt’s remarks were “irrelevant” and that it was “a mistake” to make others. 

What rules are involved: The complaint notes that prosecutors wield immense power, the power to seek punishment on behalf of the state, and should be held to the highest ethical standards. The grievance alleges that Rosenblatt’s conduct violated the following ethical rules:

  • Rules 8.4(d) and 8.4(h) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct require that a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice or adversely reflects on the lawyer’s fitness as a lawyer.

What can be done about it: The law professors’ complaint calls for the Grievance Committee to investigate and issue public discipline, including suspension. It also calls for a broader investigation into other cases prosecuted by the same prosecutor, and to determine whether QDAO’s supervising and managing attorneys complied with their duties under Rule 5.1 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.

Update: As of January 1, 2024, the Grievance Committee has not informed the complainants whether there was (or will be) an investigation, what any investigation revealed, and whether discipline was (or will be) imposed as a result of this alleged misconduct. Deprived of such information, the public has no way to evaluate whether this government body is doing its job. We call on the Grievance Committee to make its proceedings and findings in this matter transparent to the public.

Any member of the public is able to see an attorney’s record of public discipline on the Attorney Detail Report.

Note: This is a summary based on the grievance, click on the grievance below for more detail. The grievance authors do not have personal knowledge of any of the facts or circumstances of the attorney or case(s) mentioned; the grievance is based on court opinions, briefs and/or other documents cited therein.