Volunteers Appointed to Attorney Ethics Committees
David E. Johnson, director of the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE), has announced the appointment of 117 attorneys and citizens to the state’s 17 District Ethics Committees. These committees investigate and prosecute ethics cases involving New Jersey attorneys.
As members of the District Ethics Committees, the volunteers will be called on to perform a number of duties. All members participate in regular monthly committee meetings. Additionally, attorney members investigate grievances docketed by the committee. If their initial investigation finds grounds for a formal complaint, the matter is heard by a panel of committee members comprising two attorneys and one public member. Volunteers serve for a four-year term.
“The attorneys ethics system in New Jersey simply could not function without the contributions made by our volunteers,” said Johnson. “We are grateful to all of our members for helping ensure that attorneys in this state conform to our high expectations for legal competence and ethical conduct.”
The committees are supported and overseen by the OAE, and any recommended sanction is reviewed by the state’s Disciplinary Review Board. Final discipline is imposed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, which reviews sanctions recommended from below.
The OAE maintains a comprehensive Web site, which can be accessed through the Judiciary Web site at njcourtsonline.com. In addition, clients wishing to file a grievance can call the automated OAE hotline at 1-800-406-8594. Callers need to enter the attorney’s office zip code to receive contact information for the secretary of the appropriate district committee.
The Supreme Court imposed final discipline on 145 attorneys last year. In addition, the Court issued 33 emergent sanctions to protect the public while discipline charges were pending.
Currently there are 494 volunteers serving on the District Ethics Committees. Please see the attached list for the names and hometowns of the new committee members.
Original Article: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/pressrel/pr061010a.htm