Friday, March 7, 2014
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department has imposed a censure as reciprocal discipline for a sanction imposed in New Jersey.
Respondent was employed as an associate in several law firms from 1995 through 2010, except for a period between 2002 and 2004, and 2009, when he maintained his license in New Jersey but was not actively practicing, but was active in New York. Since September 27, 2007, respondent was placed on the New Jersey Supreme Court's ineligible list for failure to pay annual registration fees.
In 2009, respondent joined his father in the practice of law at which time his father promised to pay the overdue fees. In 2010, respondent began accepting small matters pending in municipal court, including one case in the West New York, N.J. Municipal Court. For approximately one year, respondent repeatedly failed to appear in court, failed to file the appropriate paperwork, and requested unreasonable adjournments. Respondent ultimately did not comply with various court orders. This behavior led the Presiding Judge to contact the Board of Bar Examiners to determine the status of respondent's law license. When the Judge learned that respondent's license had been "suspended," the matter was referred to the Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), which assigned the matter to the District Ethics Committee (DEC).
The practice in New Jersey while ineligible was a violation of Rule 5.5(a). The attorney also had failed to inorm New York of the New Jersey sancyion. (Mike Frisch)