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In re Stein

Decided: January 3, 1949.

IN THE MATTER OF MEYER W. STEIN AND CHARLES R. TURNDORF, SOLICITORS OF THE COURT OF CHANCERY OF NEW JERSEY


On rule to show cause and appeal from the former Court of Chancery.

No. A-46. For dismissal: Chief Justice Vanderbilt and Justices Case, Heher, Wachenfeld, Burling, and Ackerson. Opposed: None. No. D -- 2. For disbarment: Chief Justice Vanderbilt and Justices Case, Heher, Oliphant, Wachenfeld, Burling, and Ackerson. Opposed: None. No. D -- 3. For reprimand: Chief Justice Vanderbilt and Justices Case, Heher, Oliphant, Wachenfeld, Burling, and Ackerson. Opposed: None.

Per Curiam

[1 NJ Page 230] Meyer W. Stein, an attorney at law and Charles R. Turndorf, an attorney and counsellor at law are before the

Bar of this Court on Rules to Show Cause why they should not be disbarred from practice as such attorneys and counsellor, or otherwise disciplined.

These rules came about by reason of the fact that former Chancellor Oliphant did, on September 8, 1948, suspend Mr. Stein from thereafter appearing in the Court of Chancery as a solicitor and prohibiting him from exercising any of the functions, rights and privileges of a solicitor pending further action of the Supreme Court, and did suspend Mr. Turndorf from appearing in the Court of Chancery as a solicitor and counsellor or exercising any of the functions, rights and privileges thereof for a period of six months. That order further provided that the matters and everything pertaining thereto be transmitted to the Supreme Court for such further disciplinary action as might be fit and proper.

On October 28, 1947, Stein, as solicitor for one Abe Yedwab, alleged to be living at 39 Carroll Street, Paterson, N.J. filed a petition in the former Court of Chancery seeking a divorce from his wife Miriam Yedwab, whose address was given as 10 -- 15th Ave., East Paterson, N.J., on the ground of desertion. The petition was in the usual form. It set forth the birth of one child without stating its age. The affidavit of non-collusion was executed by petitioner. No answer was filed, the cause was referred to Advisory Master William A. Hegarty and it came on for hearing before him on January 8, 1948. Stein appeared for the petitioner, no one for the defendant.

A decree nisi was awarded petitioner but before it was signed the Chancellor received an anonymous letter dated January 12, 1948, charging that the divorce was a fraud upon the Court.

An investigation of the matter was immediately initiated by the Chancellor following which an order to show cause was issued, directed to Abe Yedwab, the petitioner, and two witnesses who had testified in his behalf before the Advisory Master as to why they should not be adjudged guilty of criminal contempt for making false and perjurious statements under oath. On the return of the rule they pleaded guilty and submitted affidavits in which they swore that the testimony they had given at the

divorce hearing was false and that they had been coached and told what to testify to by Stein. Abe Yedwab also charged in his affidavit that Turndorf, attorney of Mrs. Yedwab, the defendant, was a party to the arrangements leading to the divorce proceedings.

The Chancellor thereupon, on April 19, 1948, ordered that Stein and Turndorf show cause before Vice Chancellor Grimshaw why they should not be adjudged guilty of malpractice, intentional fraud and misconduct.

The matter came on for hearing and it resulted in the Vice Chancellor advising the Chancellor to make the order of suspension of September 8, 1948.

We are in accord with the findings expressed in the unreported opinion of the Vice Chancellor. We are convinced that Stein knowingly presented a fraudulent divorce case before the Advisory Master and that Turndorf failed to reveal to ...


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