Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Is the New Jersey Supreme Court waking up?
The OAE recommended the imposition of a reprimand or a censure. For the reasons detailed below, we determine to impose a censure...
Here, respondent’s gross neglect, failure to communicate with a client, practicing while ineligible, and failure to cooperate with ethics authorities is deserving of a reprimand. His misconduct was serious and caused harm to his client, who was forced to retain other counsel, at her own expense, to complete the task for which she had retained respondent. In addition, respondent defaulted in respect of the Pennsylvania disciplinary proceedings, failing to offer any excuse or mitigation for his serious misconduct. Such additional misconduct beckons enhanced discipline. Specifically, "[a] respondent’s default or failure to cooperate with the investigative authorities acts 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). The only mitigation for us to consider is respondent’s lack of prior discipline. On balance we determine that a censure is the appropriate quantum of discipline in this matter.
Not today. Even in New Jersey. (Mike Frisch)