April 10, 2009
Reciprocal Suspension For Stalking
An attorney suspended for six months with fitness in New Jersey was suspended for two years as reciprocal discipline by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department. The attornay also must obtain reinstatement in New Jersey before the court will consider like action in New York. the court describes the underlying misconduct and the resulting disciplinary matter as follows:
The Office of Attorney Ethics labeled the respondent's actions "continuous and severe." He stalked his wife's attorney and the court-appointed mediator in his divorce case, threatened them, and put them in fear of their lives. In addition, he sent threatening messages to his sister's attorney.
The Office of Attorney Ethics took note of the respondent's psychological problems and his drug and alcohol abuse. Noting that the usual discipline in New Jersey for a conviction of stalking is a suspension and that the respondent was found guilty of two separate charges of stalking which involved threats on the lives of attorneys, the Office of Attorney Ethics recommended a six- month suspension, with reinstatement contingent upon proof of his fitness to practice. The Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey adopted that recommendation.
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