Despite an ever-climbing lawyer population and a steady load of ethics cases, attorney discipline in New Jersey dropped in 2010 for the second consecutive year, the Office of Attorney Ethics said Thursday in its annual report.

Total sanctions, including final discipline and emergent actions, decreased by 7.5 percent to 160 from 173 in 2009. The 2009 figure was 7.5 percent down from 187 in 2008.