Four! Lawyer is Suspended for Unethical Conduct

A New Jersey lawyer has been suspended for three months due to conduct that “ranged from childish to outrageous.” The New Jersey Supreme Court found that the lawyer violated the State’s Rules of Professional Conduct, particularly RPC 3.2 (failing to treat with courtesy and consideration all persons involved in the legal process), RPC 3.3(a)(1) (knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal), RPC 3.3(a)(5) (failing to disclose to the tribunal a material fact knowing that the omission is reasonably certain to mislead the tribunal), RPC 4.1(a) (in representing a client, knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a third person), RPC 8.4(a) (violating or attempting to violate the RPCs), and RPC 8.4(d) (conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).

During discovery, the attorney made inappropriate comments to opposing counsel such as, “Did you get beat up in school a lot?, because you whine like a little girl.” and “Why don’t you grow a pair?” Furthermore, he was found to have made representations to the court during trial which were knowingly false. During his ethics hearing, he admitted that his conduct was inexcusable and that he should be “disciplined for it.” Nevertheless, the attorney made the following statement in his defense at the ethics hearing:

“I neglected my files, I played too much golf, I went to Punta Cana with my family all within two months. Was it wrong? I don’t know. This is the lifestyle that I’ve chosen, the practice I’ve chosen because I worked at Methfessel & Werbel for 15 years in a cubicle rising to managing director.”

Ultimately, the New Jersey Supreme Court adopted the Disciplinary Review Board’s recommendation for a three-month suspension.

To read the Supreme Court order and the opinion by the Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Review Board click here.

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