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In re Abrams

Decided: June 22, 1970.

IN THE MATTER OF NORMAN J. ABRAMS, AN ATTORNEY AT LAW


For reprimand -- Chief Justice Weintraub and Justices Jacobs, Francis, Proctor, Hall, Schettino and Haneman. Opposed -- None. The opinion of the court was delivered by Weintraub, C.J.

Weintraub

This disciplinary proceeding was prompted by a news account of a plea for leniency made by respondent on behalf of his client, Richard Young, who had pled guilty to a lottery charge.

The transcript of the sentencing proceeding reveals the following statements by respondent:

I say to you very openly, sir, I have not appeared in this county before your Honor, ever, to my knowledge, representing anyone involved in lottery. I have appeared over the last 25 years in more cases than I can remember involving lottery in Union County. Richard Young is definitely a little bit higher than a writer. There is no misleading, and I think we made this very clear to Lieutenant Donatelli.

THE COURT: I was convinced of that before I heard the motion to suppress.

MR. ABRAMS: There is no question, sir. I might add as an aside, sir, not to mitigate or justify an illegal operation as a statute that has been violated, but he was not the object of the pursuit. One higher than he, whose name he gave to Lieutenant Donatelli in my presence --

THE COURT: What was the name?

MR. ABRAMS: Sam Pickett. Your Honor, I feel this is --

THE COURT: Donatelli places Pickett a step below and not a step above.

MR. ABRAMS: I represent to your Honor, sir, from my knowledge of the Union County operation, and I do not apologize for representing lottery people. They are entitled to representation and they pay well. I say this to you very openly. This does not make me become a prostitute to their situation.

This man, who is now on their red list because he has been caught, he will have a record whether it be incarceration, fine, whatever it may be. He is no longer of any use to them. I represent to your Honor that the name Sam Pickett given to him, to Lieutenant Donatelli by this man is a higher echelon * * *.

I feel, sir, that if he is taken from the family unit, that what will happen to this family is more severe than what will happen to society if he is punished in dollars, because these dollars today are not going to be paid by the syndicate. the mob, the Mafia, the Costa Nostra. He has got to pay them. He is finished. He got caught. They don't want him at this point, sir. It is the old story. ...


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