On March 7, 2023, New Jersey’s Supreme Court imposed a six month suspension on an attorney for mismanaging several of his clients’ cases. According to the Disciplinary Review Board Decision and Court Order, most of the attorney’s misconduct stemmed from his paralegal forging documents. In one instance, the attorney relied on a forged court document that informed the attorney that one of his complaints had been reinstated, despite the court rejecting the initial paperwork. In the same case, the paralegal forged a settlement offer letter from the opposing party.
While the court acknowledged the attorney should not be held fully responsible for the paralegal’s forgeries because the attorney thought they were authentic, it found that the attorney did not adequately supervise the paralegal’s work, which ultimately resulted in missed court dates and unanswered correspondences. The court found the attorney to have violated Rules of Professional Conduct 1.1 (Gross Neglect); 1.3 (Lack of Diligence); 1.4 (Communication); 1.5 (Fees); 3.2 (Failure to Expedite Litigation); 5.3 (Responsibilities Regarding Nonlawyer Assistance); and 7.1 (Communication Regarding a Lawyer’s Services), and suspended the attorney for six months.