Will The Real Bruce Jay Miller Please Stand Up?
DEER PARK, N.Y. (AP) _ What’s in a name? Don’t ask Bruce Jay Miller.
For 20 years, Bruce Jay Miller had a private practice in divorce law on Deer Park Avenue. Three years ago, another Bruce Jay Miller moved in down the street and set up his own private practice in divorce law.
At first, it was just confusing, but lately it’s become infuriating. The newcomer was disbarred two months ago, and the first Bruce Jay Miller said Friday his business is suffering for it.
″There is no way to distinguish myself from him except that he’s the one with the toupee,″ the exasperated Miller said about the problem that wound up giving him a bad name.
Miller No. 1 says his practice has done a good business for the last 31 years, but certain clients stopped coming after Miller No. 2 arrived.
According Miller No. 1, the problem began when directory assistance gave out the new Miller’s number to callers asking for the attorney’s office. Miller No. 2 was listed first in the phone directory because his street number was lower.
Potential clients were disappointed by the man that they reached, said Miller No. 1.
So he filed a lawsuit against NYNEX to force the telephone company to differentiate between the two men in their listings, but the case was thrown out.
The worst was yet to come. Miller No. 2 was suspended from practice and disbarred in August after pleading guilty to grand larceny. The disbarred Miller was sentenced to five years probation, 420 hours of community service and payment of $1,500 restitution.
When the decision was made public, Miller No. 1 said, he was suddenly ostracized by associates who thought he was the one disbarred.
Suffolk County Bar Association Executive director Gabriele Wiener said Miller No. 2 was told upon arrival in Deer Park that another lawyer with the same name already had a practice on the street.
Miller No. 2 refused to do anything that would distinguish his name, she said.
Miller No. 1 and Wiener said they have not seen or heard from the disbarred Miller since his suspension. His phone number has been disconnected.