Thursday, October 8, 2009
Reciprocal discipline of a public censure was imposed by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department. The court described the stipulated misconduct found in New Jersey:
The undisputed facts reveal that on June 24, 2008, respondent and New Jersey Bar Counsel executed a Stipulation of Discipline by Consent, which collectively referred to charges of professional misconduct. Specifically, the Stipulation stated that on January 5, 2007, respondent was stopped by a police officer in New Brunswick, New Jersey for making an improper left turn. In an attempt to avoid receiving a traffic summons, respondent falsely stated to the officer that he was employed by the Union County Prosecutor's Office and showed him an identification card issued by the Union County Sheriff's Office. Respondent subsequently admitted to the officer that his prior statement regarding his employment was not true. Therefore, in addition to the traffic violation, respondent was subsequently charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and obstruction of the administration of law. These charges were subsequently reduced to a disorderly persons offense, to which respondent pleaded guilty.
The Stipulation further stated that, in a letter dated July 13, 2007, respondent misrepresented to the Office of Attorney Ethics that the charges against him were dismissed by the municipal prosecutor, and that the matter arose from a "miscommunication" between respondent and the arresting officer. As reflected in the Stipulation, "[R]espondent has since admitted to the Office of Attorney Ethics that he lied to Officer Knight to get to his Court appearance and avoid getting a ticket, and that he was not candid with the Office of Attorney Ethics in the hope that the ethics matter would be dropped". Respondent admitted that his misconduct violated New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 8.1(a) [false statement of material fact to a disciplinary authority] and 8.4(b) [commission of a criminal act that adversely reflects on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness and fitness as a lawyer].