Monday, December 9, 2013
A dispute over a contract for architectural services led to a six-month suspension of a New Jersey who supplemental a busy personal injury practice with a business that purchased and restored buildings for rent.
The attorney failed to pay the architect's bill and was sued for breach of contract. He claimed that he was duped into signing two contracts and that the fee was $7,500.
The misconduct involved the submission of fabricated documents to support the attorney's claim.
The Disciplinary Review Board found that the attorney knew that the contract that he submitted into evidence had been altered and had
...no compunctions about swearing to its accuracy on no fewer than seven occasions, thereby demonstrating a pattern of misrepresentations. We refrain from imposing a lengthier suspension only because of [his] clean record of more than twenty-five years. We also noted the high moral regard in which he was held ny his peers and others.
The DRB rejected the defense that the attorney had not engaged in the misconduct because he was "computer illiterate."
The DRB also noted that the complaint was not filed by the architect, but rather by a "non-lawyer activist." (Mike Frisch)