Avvo has a red ink warning on my profile about a disciplinary action that took place in 2002, over 15 years ago. It is important to recognize that the discipline imposed was an Admonition, the lowest possible level of sanction that can be imposed in New Jersey. For more serious issues, the discplinary authorities can impose periods of suspension from the practice of law and, in more extreme cases, disbarment. An admonition can be thought of as a warning.
The disciplinary aciton involved the pemission I gave to another attorney to file an appearance in my name for a criminal defendant. I was simply trying to help another attorney out. He had another defendant in the case and needed me to represent a co-defendant to avoid a conflict of interest. On the date when the matter was to be heard for a preliminary conference, the attorney whom I was attempting to help advised me that I would not have to appear and that he would handle it and advise the court that he was covering for me. I did not receive any compensation from this attorney for attempting to assist him or from the client. At the conference, apparently the attorney I was trying to help had not explained to the client that I would be representing that client and the judge was upset that I was not at the conference. This led to the disciplinary action. I repeat that I got paid nothing for assisting the other attorney in proceeding with the case. Had I known that I needed to appear on the date of the conference, I would have done so. I don't believe in playing the role of victim and I do accept responsibility for allowing the other attorney to file an appearance on my behalf. This led to the disciplinary action filed against me because the other attorney had not explained to the client that I would be representing him. I was trying to help out another attorney and I repeat, I received no compensation in that case. I was simply trying to help out a friend who was financially strapped at the time.
I just want to add that I think Avvo's policy of keeping these red ink warnings forever is unfair and prejudicial. Why keep negative materials against an attorney forever unless that attorney stole client funds or committed some other heinous act? Avvo has no policy for matters like mine timing out and it remains on your profile forever, a glaring warning to the people who search your Avvo profile. It does not take into account the fact that I have never taken a dime of client's money that was not earned and have had no other issues since that diciplinary action. Avvo's red ink warning is an unfair deterrent to potential clients who may mistakenly believe that an attorney who has been subject to discipline must have misappropriated client funds or for some other serious infraction.
I have practiced law in New Jersey for 35 years and I believe that the level of caring and dedication I provide to my clients is excellent. I would say it is unparallelled, but I do know that most of my fellow attorneys do care about their clients and do their best for them. This is not reflected in my Avvo profile. I do have excellent client reviews. Unfortunately, I am sure that when potential clients see that red ink warning, they move on to search for another attorney without even a thought of what that warning really means and the underlying circumstances. This is unfair.
I believe Avvo's policy should be changed so that for minor infractions such as mine, there ought to be a time period after which any reference to the matter is removed from one's profile unless there are any subsequent ethics actions against that attorney. An attorney should not be stigmatized forever for a minor violation that occurred in the distant past with a foreboding red line warning on that attorney's Avvo profile. I would love to start a class action suit against Avvo for myself and other attorney's who have had similar issues.
Clients who come to me for legal assistance are treated with respect and concern and I do my best to assist them. I try to make my services available to those who are struggling and offer liberal payment plans and reduced fees for those in need. I am a dedicated attorney who loses sleep over my client's cases and truly do my best for them. I hope you will consider this information if you have gotten beyond the red ink warning.
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority.
updated on 12/11/2014
An admonition means an attorney did something wrong but may still practice law. The Bar gives the lawyer an admonition in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior.
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|American Immigration Lawyers Association||Member||N/A|
Posted by Marisela
Wed Nov 25 2020
Posted by Andrew
Wed Nov 25 2020
Posted by Francisco
Sat Aug 15 2015
Posted by Jack
Fri Aug 14 2015
Posted by Victor P.
Mon Aug 10 2015
Posted by Jay
Mon Aug 10 2015
Posted by anonymous
Thu Aug 06 2015
Endorsements from fellow lawyers are an important consideration for many when selecting the right attorney. Be the first to endorse your colleague!