Thursday, December 19, 2013

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

An attorney who had practiced while his license was administrately revoked for failure to pay his annual client protection fund fees was suspended for one year by the New Jersey Supreme Court.

The attorney was admitted in New Jersey in 1991 and worked in the Cherry Hill (N.J.) office of a Philadelphia (Pa.) law firm. While he initially did not need a New Jersey license for his work, eventually he did. Unfortunately, his license was suspended (and later revoked) for failing to pay the fees from 1995 to 2005.

When he sought to activate his New Jersey license, he was required to pass the February 2008 bar examination, which he did. Unfortunately (again), he did not cure the client protection problem.

The Disciplinary Review Board noted that the attorney had appeared in nearly fifty New Jersey matters while suspended.

The problem surfaced on the cusp of a jury trial. A check of the Lawyer's Diary by the court clerk failed to show that the attorney had an active license. The attorney made misrepresentations by initially contending that it was a mistake.

The court got to the truth and refused to admit the attorney pro hac vice.

The trial did not go forward. The disciplinary process did.

Becuase the attorney's license status is "revoked," he may nor petition for reinstatement for a year and is barred from pro hac admisssion as well. (Mike Frisch)

Bar Discipline & Process | Permalink

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