ORDER OF PUBLIC REPRIMAND
The Disciplinary Review Board having filed a report recommending that DENNIS M. COUGHLIN of Wildwood be publicly reprimanded for his conduct in improperly executing an acknowledgment in violation of DR 1-102(A)(4), as well as making a false statement of fact in violation of DR 7-102(A)(5), and the Court having reviewed the record;
And the Disciplinary Review Board further recommending that respondent be required to reimburse the Administrative Office of the Courts for administrative costs, including production of transcripts; and good cause appearing
It is ORDERED that the report of the Disciplinary Review Board is hereby adopted and that DENNIS M. COUGHLIN be and hereby is publicly reprimanded for his violation of DR 1-102(A)(4) and DR 7-102(A)(5); and it is further
Ordered that the Decision and Recommendation of the Disciplinary Review Board, together with this Order and the full record of this matter, be added as a permanent part of the file of said DENNIS M. COUGHLIN as an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey; and it is further
Ordered that DENNIS M. COUGHLIN reimburse the Administrative Office of the Courts for administrative costs, including production of transcripts.
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 a report filed by the District I Ethics Committee which recommended that a letter of private reprimand issue against the respondent. The Board determined to deny that recommendation, and scheduled the matter for hearing. The case concerns the respondent's improper execution of the jurat on an Affidavit of Consideration or Exemption for a Deed, as well as the execution of the Acknowledgment on that Deed outside the presence of the grantor.
The facts of the case are not in dispute. The respondent, a single practitioner, acted as house counsel to Century 21, Stone Harbor Realty in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. Respondent was asked by an associate in the realty office to prepare a deed to transfer property from one Anthony Finocchiaro to his son, Anthony J. Finocchiaro. The respondent agreed to prepare and record a Deed and Affidavit for a fee of $75.00. Thereafter, he received from Delia Jones, the Century 21 associate, a copy of the old deed which indicated that Anthony Finocchiaro and his late wife owned the property in question as tenants by the
entirety. Respondent then prepared the Deed and Affidavit of Consideration, and delivered them to Delia Jones.
Several days later, the documents were returned to the respondent bearing the signature of Anthony Finocchiaro, and witnessed by Delia Jones. Respondent was advised by Ms. Jones that Mr. Finocchiaro had signed the documents in her presence on March 15, 1980 in Cape May. Since she was a notary ...