March 14, 2013
Two Censures For The Price Of One
The New Jersey Supreme Court has imposed a censure of attorney who has a prior record of discipline.
According to the report of the Disciplinary Review Board, the attorney had been sanctioned for similar misconduct in the same time period. The issue was whether to treat this separate misconduct as, in effect, a freebie.
The attorney defaulted on the bar charges and moved to vacate the default.
The DRB found that default was appropriate because the attorney's reason -- his fear of unfair treatment due to allegations of bias - was no basis to not participate. Further, he did not proffer a meritorious defense.
Here, the client retained the attorney to pursue a consumer fraud action. The attorney failed to perform services diligently, failed to communicate with the client and, when contacted, made misrepresentations to the client. He also failed to cooperate in the bar investigation.
The client was persistent. The DRB reports that she made approximately 25 visits to the attorney's office and found him there only once.
The attorney was admonished in 2010 for unauthorized practice and censured in 2011 by default for misconduct similar to that found here. (Mike Frisch)
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