Noted area defense attorney Terence Kindlon was censured for photographing a document left on an Albany County prosecutor's table while court was in recess during an assault trial last year.
Justices with the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the censure issued by the Committee on Professional Standards following a 2011 assault trial.
The court determined Kindlon had engaged in "undignified" and "discourteous" conduct when he took a picture of the document without the prosecutor's permission or knowledge.
"During a recess in the trial and while the prosecutor was outside the courtroom, [ Kindlon ] viewed, handled and photographed a document that was on the prosecution's table," the three-page ruling stated. "[ Kindlon ] did not seek, nor was he ever granted, permission by the prosecutor to examine, handle or photograph the document."
Kindlon , who contested the committee's recommendation of censure, did not return calls for comment for this story. An official with the Albany County District Attorney's Office declined to comment.
Kindlon was defending former Army Capt. Kevin Powell on felony assault charges stemming from an incident outside of a downtown bar in 2010.
Powell was accused of tossing a beer mug that struck a woman in the head, causing her serious injury.
At some point during the trial, Assistant District Attorney Brian Conley sent an email to Bruce Lennard -- the one-time head of the Major Offenses Bureau and former lead prosecutor in Powell's case -- asking him for advice in the case. Lennard, who had taken a job at the law firm of Tully Rinckey earlier that year, responded and Conley printed out a transcript of their conversation that he kept at his table in the courtroom.
Kindlon used a small camera to take a picture of the transcript. Sometime after the image was taken, Lennard abruptly left Tully Rinckey, having been on the job with the firm for less than four months.
Powell was later convicted of second-degree assault and was sentenced to serve three-and-a-half years in prison.
Kindlon has appealed the conviction and is expected to argue the case before the Appellate Division this fall.
Lennard, who is now in private practice, declined to discuss the matter or Kindlon 's censure Thursday.
The law firm released a statement nearly identical to one it released after Kindlon 's picture of the prosecutor's document surfaced publicly last year, stating that it never had any involvement in the Powell case and was unaware of any correspondence between the prosecutor's office and Lennard.
"Mr. Lennard resigned immediately after the incident came to light and is no longer employed at Tully Rinckey," the firm stated.
Censure is a form of public condemnation of an attorney and is a step above a private letter of admonition. It is less severe, however, than suspension or disbarment.