Friday, October 8, 2010
The New Jersey Disciplinary Review Board has ordered a reprimand of an attorney who had been paid $600 to represent a client and had failed to appear for a rescheduled court session because he was owed a $200 balance. The attorney claimed, and the client denied, that the client had signed a form agreeing to a substitution of counsel.
The attorney admitted that he had not reduced the fee arrangement to a writing, as required. He denied any impropriety with respect to the substitution of counsel form. While the attorney had defaulted in the bar proceeding, the board concluded that the complaint did not allege sufficient facts to sustain any charge relating to the form. The board imposed a reprimand rather than an admonition because the attorney had failed to cooperate with disciplinary authorities. (Mike Frisch)