Wednesday, March 14, 2018
The New Jersey Supreme Court has suspended an attorney for three months.
He was admitted in 1975 and had been admonished and censured
Here the Disciplinary Review Board recommended the short suspension
On October 28, 2015, respondent sent a letter to the OAE, stating that he had retired from the practice of law and wished to resign from the New Jersey bar. Attached to the letter was an affidavit dated October 23, 2015, submitted pursuant to R. 1:20-22 (Resignation Without Prejudice), in which respondent certified that no disciplinary or criminal proceedings were pending against him. The certification was false, inasmuch as "there were pending disciplinary proceedings of which he was aware," doubtless a reference to the [pending] Roberts complaint.
He defaulted, ignoring the process but nonetheless
We find that the conduct falls between and appropriate discipline for respondent’s that imposed in McLauqhlin and Gross. McLaughlin had mitigation, but no prior discipline. Respondent has prior discipline but no mitigation. Respondent’s admonition and censure, however, are facially less serious than Gross’ two censures. Moreover, neither of respondent’s prior matters proceeded as a default. Based on these distinctions, had this matter not been before us as a default, we would have imposed a censure. Respondent, however, allowed this matter to proceed to us as a default. "A respondent’s default or failure to cooperate with the investigative authorities operates as an aggravating factor, which is sufficient to permit a penalty that would otherwise be appropriate to be further enhanced." In re Kivler, 193 N.J. 332, 342 (2008). For these reasons, we determined to impose a three-month suspension for respondent’s misconduct.
One board member favored another censure. (Mike Frisch)