Thursday, December 13, 2012
An attorney who was suspended for three months in New Jersey has been suspended for six months and until further court order as reciprocal discipline by the New York Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department.
In 2003, Walter Richardson retained the respondent to pursue the return of funds he believed an individual named Patricia Royster had taken from his retirement dinner. Royster was in charge of organizing the retirement party. After the party, Royster gave Richardson a cash gift of $500 (five $100 bills) and a $500 travel gift certificate. Richardson believed that Royster shortchanged him. When Richardson met the respondent in September 2003, Richardson gave the respondent, as evidence for his case against Royster, the five $100 bills and the gift certificate. Richardson paid the respondent a retainer, and the respondent thereafter filed a summons and complaint in Middlesex County Special Civil Part on Richardson's behalf. Royster defaulted, and Richardson obtained a default judgment against Royster for approximately $6,400. The respondent was to obtain an execution of Royster's wages, but failed to do so. Despite numerous and repeated attempts by Richardson to contact the respondent, the respondent did not communicate with Richardson, aside from sending a letter stating that he owed the respondent more money.
The New Jersey Supreme Court also found that the attorney had lied to an investigator during the bar's inquiry. (Mike Frisch)