A Brooklyn Center attorney faces possible discipline or disbarment for his alleged mismanagement of two clients.
Joseph Kaminsky allegedly confused one client about payments and failed to tell another client that a court date had been moved, according to the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility. The office filed a petition Thursday in the Minnesota Supreme Court seeking disciplinary action against Kaminsky.
Kaminsky declined to comment and said he would pass along a media request for comment to his attorney, who did not immediately return the message.
According to the petition: In 2015, a client retained Kaminsky to represent him in three cases — a domestic assault case, a disorderly conduct charge and a prohibited person in possession of a firearm case.
Kaminsky allegedly failed to provide receipts to the client for a cash payment of $2,000 and a cash payment of $500 in the first two cases.
Kaminsky did not obtain a written fee agreement in the third case, where he charged a $3,000 fee. The agreement is required by the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys.
In 2016, Kaminsky agreed to represent the same client in another assault case and asked for a $3,000 fee without obtaining the required written fee agreement.
"[The client] was confused about what money was owed, when it was owed, and how the payments made to [Kaminsky] were attributed toward his matters due to the absence of written fee agreements and contemporaneous failure to provide an accounting to his client," said the petition.
The second complaint against Kaminsky alleges that in 2018, he agreed to move a client's sentencing date in a drug case back about two months without consulting with or informing the client.
The sentencing was moved back a second time by two months, but Kaminsky failed to tell his client, the petition said.
Kaminsky has been disciplined 13 times dating back to 1979, including for the same issues in the petition.
Kaminsky has 20 days to respond to the allegations. The state Supreme Court will decide whether any discipline, which can range from a reprimand to disbarment, is merited.
In 2015, Kaminsky represented George Sumo Kpingbah, a nursing aide who was sentenced to eight years in prison for raping an 83-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease.
Kaminsky also represented Jacob Zumberge in a terroristic threats case linked to Zumberge's father, Neal Zumberge, who fatally shot his neighbor Todd Gordon Stevens and wounded Stevens' girlfriend, Jennifer Damerow-Cleven, in 2014.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Twitter: @ChaoStrib