Ethics Case Over Facebook ‘Friending’ Can Proceed

February 3, 2015

Two New Jersey lawyers charged with ethics violations for their use of Facebook in defending a personal injury suit have lost their bid to derail the disciplinary action against them.

Ex-Bergen Dem Chair Says Fishman Conflicted Out of RICO Case

February 3, 2015

With his trial on racketeering charges set for Feb. 10, former Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Joseph Ferriero has moved for dismissal of the case, claiming U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman of the District of New Jersey represented two key figures in the case while in private practice.

Ethics Complaint Says NJ Judge Improperly Helped Relatives

January 30, 2015

A New Jersey judge is facing ethics charges for allegedly misusing his office and authority to help his relatives in a dispute they were having with a home renovation contractor.

Judges Escape Discipline for Dining With Indicted Friend

January 21, 2015

Two New Jersey judges will not be disciplined for fraternizing with a close friend—a public official under indictment on corruption charges—even though they violated ethics rules, the state Supreme Court ruled Jan. 21.

Facebook IPO Fraud Gets NJ Lawyer 46-Month Sentence

January 21, 2015

A New Jersey lawyer who admitted to selling fictitious shares of Facebook to unsuspecting investors as the company prepared to go public is slated to spend nearly four years behind bars.

Newark Ex-Mayor Must Repay Campaign Funds Used for Defense

January 16, 2015

Former Newark Mayor Sharpe James has been out of jail for nearly five years after serving time on a federal corruption conviction, but the legal wrangling over his use of campaign funds to pay criminal defense fees will continue on as the result of a Jan. 16 state appeals court ruling.

Lawyer’s Lie Repeated by Client on TV Results in Discipline

December 19, 2014

It’s not rare for a lawyer to face discipline for blowing a court deadline and not owning up to it. But Francis Falkenstein, who has just been reprimanded by the New Jersey Supreme Court, had the misfortune to lie to a client who was then asked about the case in a televised interview.

Disbarment not Automatic for Taking of Firm Funds, Court Says

December 18, 2014

The New Jersey Supreme Court declined Dec. 18 to disbar a lawyer who admittedly misappropriated money from the law firm where he worked as an associate.

Third Circuit OKs Conviction of Prosecutor-Turned-Criminal

December 18, 2014

Paul Bergrin, the ex-prosecutor and defense lawyer found guilty of facilitating witness murder and running drugs out of his Newark law office, had his conviction and multiple life sentences upheld by a federal appeals court.

Bar-Owning Lawyers to Seek Reinstatement After Fraud Case

December 12, 2014

Two lawyers who spent the last two-and-a-half years without their law licenses after admitting that they flouted tax obligations in connection with a bar they owned are eligible to seek reinstatement.

Lawyer Fired for Drinking at Work Not Entitled to Benefits

December 10, 2014

A lawyer fired for allegedly drinking on the job is not entitled to unemployment benefits, a New Jersey appeals court ruled Dec. 10.

No Ethics Breach Where Town Hired Mayor’s Personal Lawyer

December 9, 2014

A New Jersey state agency decision that a mayor did not violate state ethics law when he suggested his own lawyer for the job of municipal attorney was upheld by an appeals court Dec. 4.

NJ Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Smuggling Packages into Jail

December 4, 2014

A New Jersey attorney who once served as a prosecutor himself is now facing possible prison time after admitting to a role in a scheme to smuggle marijuana and tobacco into Essex County Jail.

Lawyer Censured for Trying to Relitigate Fee Dispute

December 1, 2014

A New Jersey lawyer who attempted to litigate a client dispute even though a fee arbitration panel already had settled the matter has been disciplined.

Lawyer Dodges Disbarment for Accounting Gaffes

October 28, 2014

A New Jersey attorney who deposited settlement proceeds in his business account, paid his client from his trust account and spent funds intended to satisfy a workers’ compensation lien, narrowly avoided losing his law license because evidence of intentional misconduct was lacking.

Ex-Lawmaker Found with Child Porn Gets ‘Indeterminate’ Suspension

October 23, 2014

The New Jersey Supreme Court has suspended former state Assemblyman Neil Cohen for an “indeterminate” period for possession of child pornography found on both a state-issued computer and on the computer in his law office.

Client Romance, Ex Parte Chat Gets Lawyer a Reprimand

October 17, 2014

After ethics authorities were sharply divided on how to handle the matter, the New Jersey Supreme Court has punished a lawyer who became romantically involved with a client, then quietly withdrew from her case—though the discipline was lightened.

Sanctions Sought for Lawyer Who Gave Document to Media

October 14, 2014

The lawyer representing Conrail, Norfolk Southern and CSX in connection with a 2012 train derailment and chemical spill in Paulsboro, N.J., is seeking sanctions and a protective order against a plaintiffs lawyer who allegedly defied a court order by releasing an investigative report to the media.

Panel Hears Jurisdictional Dispute in Facebook Ethics Case

October 14, 2014

A New Jersey appeals court is considering whether the Office of Attorney Ethics has the power to file ethics grievances against lawyers after district ethics committees have declined to do so, and whether the judges themselves even have the authority to get involved in the dispute.

Attorney Who Called Opposing Counsel Gay Slur Suspended

September 10, 2014

A New Jersey lawyer who called opposing counsel a “fag” and said he whined “like a little girl” and needed to “grow a pair” has been suspended for three months.

N.J. Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Facebook IPO Fraud

September 9, 2014

A New Jersey attorney has admitted to bilking investors by selling them fictitious shares of Facebook when the company was going public two years ago.

Class Action Against Jacoby & Meyers Alleges Deceptive Billing

September 3, 2014

A putative class action filed in federal court in Newark claims Jacoby & Meyers and an affiliated firm engaged in deceptive billing practices by farming out some legal work to litigation support companies owned by some of the firms’ current and former partners.

Malpractice Suit Proceeds Against Fox Rothschild

September 2, 2014

A New Jersey appeals court has reinstated a legal malpractice suit against Fox Rothschild, finding, as a matter of law, that attorneys have a duty of care to explain the terms of an agreement to clients, even if those terms are unambiguous and the client is a sophisticated businessperson who personally negotiated those terms.

Disbarred Lawyer Can’t Discharge Ex-Clients’ $1 Mil. Claim

August 29, 2014

A former New Jersey attorney, disbarred for misappropriating client funds in the face of a fee dispute, cannot use bankruptcy to erase the former clients’ nearly $1 million claim against him, a federal judge has ruled.

Judge Faces Ethics Charges Over Clashes With Lawyer

August 8, 2014

A longtime municipal judge in two Monmouth County towns has been accused of violating judicial ethics rules over his allegedly hostile and unfair treatment of a defense lawyer and his failure to recuse himself from cases being defended by another lawyer who is a close friend.

Paralegal’s Crimes Yield a Censure for Her Boss

August 4, 2014

A New Jersey lawyer who failed to vigilantly supervise an employee running an illegal side business has landed in ethics trouble himself.

Attorneys Suspended for Failing to Notify Clients of Law Practice Sale

July 30, 2014

Two New Jersey attorneys who admitted to selling their law practice without informing their dozens of clients about it are having their law licenses lifted.

Judge Admits Representing Councilman Was an Ethical Breach

July 23, 2014

A New Jersey municipal court judge has admitted to violating an ethics rule by continuing to represent a local councilman in a private matter after being appointed to the bench in that councilman’s town.

Municipal Judge Who Ducked Creditors Barred from Bench

July 21, 2014

\Longtime Municipal Court Judge Harold P. Cook III, who once sat in four Passaic County, N.J., municipalities—Haledon, North Haledon, Ringwood and Wanaque—was censured by the N.J. Supreme Court on July 18 and permanently banned from the bench.

Lawyer Disbarred for Theft of Firm Funds

July 8, 2014

A lawyer who admitted he took $31,000 from his law firm and lied to clients and colleagues about the status of cases that had been dismissed has lost his license to practice law.

Attorneys Acquitted in Mob Racketeering Case

July 7, 2014

Thee attorneys who were indicted along with alleged mobster Nicodemo Scarfo Jr. in a racketeering case were cleared of criminal charges on July 3.

Lawyer Facing Theft Charges Has Malpractice Insurance Struck

June 30, 2014

Michael Kwasnik, who’s been accused in numerous private and government actions of stealing millions from clients, will face those matters without the protection of malpractice insurance, thanks to a New Jersey federal judge’s ruling.

Justices Hear Legal Ethics Case of Convicted Former Legislator Cohen

June 24, 2014

Former New Jersey Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who went to jail for a crime related to possession of child pornography, now faces suspension of his law license or possible disbarment.

Audubon Lawyer Disbarred for Conviction in Child Endangerment Case

May 27, 2014

An Audubon solo practitioner who pleaded guilty in 1999 to inappropriately touching a child has been disbarred for the offense after it escaped the notice of attorney disciplinary authorities for nearly 15 years.

Hearing Set for Family Judge Who Admitted to Conflict in Hiring Lawyer

May 21, 2014

Family court Judge Melanie Appleby has stipulated to conflicts of interest in seeking advice on her own child support problems from a lawyer with cases before her and in continuing to hear his cases for months afterward.

Fairfield Lawyers Get One-Year Suspensions For Structuring Bank Deposits

May 20, 2014

Two lawyers who pleaded guilty to structuring bank deposits on behalf of a client have drawn suspensions of one year each, retroactive to the date their temporary suspensions were imposed, May 22, 2013.

Lawyer Convicted of Defrauding Hedge Fund Investors Disbarred

May 19, 2014

Attorney Matthew Marino, who was convicted for his role in defrauding Bayou Group hedge fund investors of more than $300 million, was disbarred by the New Jersey Supreme Court in an order made public May 16.

Bar-Owning Lawyers Suspended Retroactively for Fraud on IRS

May 14, 2014

Two New Jersey attorneys who once owned a tavern and admitted to shirking federal taxes obligations are facing suspensions of their law licenses, though in essence for time already served.

Judge Charged With Ethics Breaches Says He Needs Discovery To Answer

May 7, 2014

A New Jersey Superior Court judge facing discipline for alleged demeaning behavior toward court workers denies that he violated judicial ethics canons but says he needs more information to respond to the specific charges.

Lawyer, Paralegal Indicted for Role In Insurance-Fraud Runners Scam

May 1, 2014

A New Jersey personal injury lawyer and his paralegal are charged along with 10 other people with complicity in a ring that used runners to round up auto accident victims and then billed insurers for unnecessary treatments.

Board Seeks To Disbar Lawyer for Taking $31K in Firm Funds

April 29, 2014

New Jersey disciplinary authorities are seeking the disbarment of an attorney who admitted to misappropriating $31,300 from his firm, and falsely claimed to clients and his superiors that cases were still active after they were dismissed.

Convicted Lawyers Sue Insurer for Defense of Their Disciplinary Cases

April 18, 2014

Two lawyers who pleaded guilty to illegal structuring of bank deposits are suing their malpractice carrier for refusing to fund their defense in the attorney discipline cases to come.

Court To Decide if Ethics Rules Flouted By Lack of Conflict-Screening System

April 15, 2014

Can a managing partner be held accountable under legal ethics rules for a firm’s failure to insure it has a formal system in place to screen for conflicts of interest?

Lawyer Suspended Three Months for Phantom Depositions on Time Sheets

April 14, 2014

A New Jersey attorney who padded his time sheets with entries for depositions that never occurred will spend some time without his license as punishment.

Lawyer Censured for Threatening Criminal Charges in Custody Case

April 11, 2014

A New Jersey lawyer has been disciplined for attempting to muscle an opposing litigant into accepting a settlement offer in a child-custody case by threatening to involve criminal authorities.

N.J. Lawyer Misused Finances of Elderly Women, U.S. Judge Finds

April 4, 2014

A federal judge on Friday found a New Jersey lawyer civilly liable for exerting undue influence on his mother and another relative in order to siphon off their savings for his personal use.

Calling Court Workers Names Gets New Jersey Judge in Ethics Trouble

April 3, 2014

A high-level New Jersey trial judge is facing ethics charges for demeaning behavior towards court workers, such as calling a female probation officer his “little pet” and another employee, who had undergone hip replacement surgery, “Hop-a-Long.”

Clifford Minor, Ex-Prosecutor and Judge, Is Disbarred for Conviction

March 31, 2014

Clifford Minor, a former policeman, prosecutor and judge who pleaded guilty to arranging a phony confession in a criminal case to help a client, has had his law license permanently stripped.

Elder Law Attorney Charged With Thieving $2 Million of Client Funds

March 20, 2014

A New Jersey attorney was arrested Wednesday on charges of stealing more than $2 million from 10 elderly clients.

New Jersey Lawyer Rebuked for Maligning Pennsylvania Judges

March 17, 2014

A New Jersey lawyer who labeled the judiciary of Pennsylvania corrupt after he lost a case in that state has been reprimanded.

Lawyer May Lose Law License for Two Years for Causing Fatal Crash

March 12, 2014

A former New Jersey deputy attorney general—an alcoholic with a propensity for post-drinking seizures—faces a two-year suspension of his law license for a fatal crash caused by his blacking out at the wheel.

Knife-Wielding Road Rage Incident Draws Censure for N.J. Attorney

February 24, 2014

A New Jersey lawyer who in a fit of road rage chased another motorist while waving a knife has been censured, but the absence of a physical altercation helped him avoid license suspension.

Judge Who Represented Party After Trying Her Case Faces Ethics Charge

February 21, 2014

A New Jersey municipal court judge is facing ethics charges for agreeing to represent a woman in a divorce case after presiding over dueling harassment complaints that the woman and her husband had filed against each other.

Court Admonishes Judge for Making Personal Use of Judicial Letterhead

February 19, 2014

A New Jersey Superior Court judge was publicly admonished on Tuesday for using judicial letterhead to contact school officials to seek a benefit on behalf of his future stepson.