April 3, 2012
In Synchronicity In New Jersey
The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued an opinion that censures an attorney for his failure to safeguard and negligent misappropriation of entrusted funds, recordkeeping violations and a conflict of interest.
The court agreed with the Disciplinary Review Board that the misappropriation was negligent. The attorney did not act with intentional ignorance or a nefarious intent. No client was harmed. Further, the conduct was discovered in a 2002 audit and the attorney has remedied his practices.
The court also agreed with the DRB's sanction recommendation: "We are in synchronicity with the DRB's judgment that a censure is the proper quatum of discipline here."
A dissent would impose a short suspension to preserve public confidence in New Jersey attorneys. The dissent would not regard the delay as a mitigating factor. (Mike Frisch)
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