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In re Klaisz

Decided: June 6, 1955.

IN THE MATTER OF R. EDWARD KLAISZ, JR., MUNICIPAL MAGISTRATE OF EAST GREENWICH TOWNSHIP, RESPONDENT


On order to show cause why the respondent should not be disciplined.

For censure -- Chief Justice Vanderbilt, and Justices Heher, Oliphant, Burling, Jacobs and Brennan. Opposed -- None. The opinion of the court was delivered by Vanderbilt, C.J.

Vanderbilt

[19 NJ Page 145] As a result of complaints made to the court, proceedings were commenced against the respondent, an attorney-at-law of this State since 1940, for acting as the

municipal attorney and practicing before the governing body of East Greenwich Township while serving as its municipal magistrate.

The respondent was appointed solicitor of the township in January 1950 and its municipal magistrate in June of that year. He is still its municipal magistrate. He was reappointed as solicitor of the township in 1951 and again in 1952. He did not resign as township solicitor until January 27, 1953, well over a year after Rule 1:7-7(d) became effective on January 1, 1952. That rule provided:

"No attorney shall hold the offices of both magistrate and municipal attorney in the same municipality."

Since then the township has not elected another solicitor, but the respondent's name appears in that capacity in the official directory of Gloucester County from 1950 to 1955. According to the respondent this was without his knowledge.

1. Part of the complaint is directed to violations of R.R. 1:26-5(a), effective September 9, 1953:

"An attorney shall not serve as a municipal attorney in any municipality in which he is a magistrate or acting magistrate."

On this point the respondent in his answering affidavit admits that:

"In 1955 at the request of the Chairman of the East Greenwich Township Committee, as a personal favor I drew a resolution declaring a state of emergency with respect to a water situation, and a resolution awarding a contract to a drilling company for the drilling of a municipal well, which resolution was contested in the Superior Court of New Jersey and subsequently declared invalid.

I signed the answer to said proceeding, but advised the Township Committee that other counsel was essential, and accordingly the actual trial was handled by Carl Kisselman, Esquire, of Camden who prepared all pleadings and other papers. I did not participate therein."

From an inspection of the papers in the suit referred to in the affidavit it appears that the respondent acknowledged service as attorney not ...


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