Thursday, July 24, 2008

No Discipline Against Defunct Firm, No Suspension For Lawyers

An order entered yesterday by the Supreme Court of New Jersey reviewed a Disciplinary Review Board report that had censured a defunct law firm for violations of supervisory responsibilities, fee sharing, improper compensation for employment recommendations and failure to report professional misconduct of another lawyer. The board also had proposed sanctions ranging from a one-year suspension to reprimand of four lawyers and no discipline of seven other lawyers associated with the firm.

The court had ordered six of the lawyers to show cause why discipline should not be imposed. Six consented to reprimands by the board. The court then determined that three of the lawyers should be placed on probation because of extraordinary delay that they did not cause, "their otherwise unblemished careers as attorneys, and their exemplary service to the community..." The censure of the firm was vacated and the other attorneys were reprimanded.

There is likely a lot more to this story than can be gleaned from the court's decision. If anyone can locate the board's report in electronic format, we would be grateful to receive it and expand on our discussion of this case. (Mike Frisch)

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