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In re Dailey

June 10, 1981

IN THE MATTER OF JOHN W. DAILEY, AN ATTORNEY-AT-LAW

ORDER

This matter coming before the Court on an order to show cause why JOHN W. DAILEY of Gloucester City should not be disbarred or otherwise disciplined for his violation of DR 6-101(A)(2), DR 7-101(A), and DR 1-102(4), and said JOHN W. DAILEY having failed to appear before this Court on the return date of said order to show cause, and good cause appearing;

It is ORDERED that the report of the Disciplinary Review Board recommending that respondent be disbarred is hereby adopted; and it is

ORDERED that JOHN W. DAILEY be disbarred and that his name be stricken from the roll of attorneys of this State, effective immediately; and it is further

Ordered that JOHN W. DAILEY be and hereby is permanently restrained and enjoined from practicing law; and it is further

Ordered that JOHN W. DAILEY reimburse the Administrative Office of the Courts for the cost of all stenographic transcripts in this matter.

Decision and Recommendation of the Disciplinary Review Board

To the Honorable Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of New Jersey:

This matter is before the Board based upon three presentments filed by the District IV Ethics Committee. These presentments concern a pattern of negligence on the part of respondent in his handling of legal matters on behalf of his clients evidenced by his failure to carry out numerous contracts of employment. In addition, the Board reviewed the circumstances surrounding the respondent's recent suspension from the practice of law and information obtained thereafter.

1. DRB 80-83

The presentment of the Committee in Docket No. DRB 80-83 concerns thirteen complaints against respondent, eight of which were contained in a consolidated Committee complaint. The remaining complaints were filed by individual clients of respondent shortly thereafter. The misconduct which forms the basis for the presentment may be summarized as follows:

a. WOOLBERT COMPLAINT

Complainant Robin Woolbert retained respondent in February 1974 to institute divorce proceedings. By April 1974 she had paid respondent $520 towards his fee. Woolbert filed her complaint

with the District Ethics Committee on May 16, 1978 at which time respondent had not filed a complaint for divorce and had not communicated with Woolbert since their initial conversation. Despite repeated demands from the Committee, respondent did not file an answer to the ethics complaint until October 1978. In his answer and during his testimony before the Committee on July 3, 1979 respondent acknowledged his failure to properly handle the Woolbert divorce, which was eventually dismissed for lack of prosecution. Respondent returned the full fee he had received from Woolbert, who obtained her divorce through another lawyer.

b. HICKMAN COMPLAINT

In November 1977 respondent represented Deanna Hickman, a defendant in a divorce proceeding. One of the terms of the divorce settlement concerned the setting up of a trust fund for Hickman's daughter.

On August 1, 1978 Hickman contacted the District Ethics Committee as neither she nor her ex-husband's attorney were ever successful in communicating with respondent and the trust had not yet been established. In September 1978 the matter was resolved by the parties without the assistance of respondent. At a formal hearing before the Committee on July 3, 1979 respondent admitted failing to set up the trust following the Hickman divorce.

c. SMITH COMPLAINT

Ralph Smith retained respondent in or about 1976 to institute a number of suits on behalf of Smith's corporation. When it became apparent that respondent would take no action, Smith retained another lawyer.

On August 7, 1978 Smith filed a complaint with the Committee concerning respondent's failure to turn over files to his new attorney. Despite efforts by the Committee, respondent did not turn over the files until October 1978, following the direct

intervention of a member of the Committee. At a formal hearing before the Committee on July 3, 1979 respondent admitted failing to act on any of the matters he was retained by Smith to handle. He offered no explanation for his procrastination in delivering the files to Smith's attorney.

d. KOSINSKI COMPLAINT

Kenneth Kosinski retained respondent in 1976 to handle a personal injury suit. On May 11, 1978 Kosinski contacted the District Ethics Committee and indicated that he had not had any communication from respondent since first speaking with him in 1976. Repeated attempts by Kosinski to contact respondent following the referral of the matter to the Ethics Committee were to no avail. At a formal hearing before the Committee on July 3, 1979 respondent admitted that he failed to institute suit on ...


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