The Disciplinary Review Board having filed a report recommending that HOWARD C. TRUEGER of MORRISTOWN be
publicly reprimanded for his negligent failure to represent clients adequately, in violation of DR. 1-102(A)(4), DR. 6-101(A)(1) and DR. 7-101(A)(1), (2) and (3);
And the Disciplinary Review Board further recommending that respondent be required to reimburse the Administrative Office of the Courts for appropriate administrative costs, including the production of transcripts, and good cause appearing;
It is ORDERED that the report of the Disciplinary Review Board is hereby adopted and that HOWARD C. TRUEGER be and hereby is publicly reprimanded for his violation of DR. 1-102(A)(4), DR. 6-101(A)(1) and DR. 7-101(A)(1), (2) and (3); 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 HOWARD C. TRUEGER as an attorney at law of the State of New Jersey; and it is further
Ordered that HOWARD C. TRUEGER reimburse the Administrative Office of the Courts for appropriate administrative costs, including the 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 two presentments filed by the District X Ethics Committee for Morris County. The presentment docketed as DRB 80-226 concerns the respondent's neglect of a civil suit for damages which led to dismissal of the suit for failure to take the necessary steps to consummate the settlement effected in the matter. The second presentment docketed as DRB 82-155 similarly concerns respondent's failure to properly pursue a case, thereby permitting the entry of a judgment against his client. Thereafter, he misrepresented the status of the case to his client and failed to act to set aside the judgment.
I. 80-226 -- QUAKER STATE
The record reveals that the respondent was retained by Quaker State Oil Refining Corporation and its representative, Advance Collection Systems, Inc., in mid-1976 to represent the corporation in a civil suit. Although the matter was initially filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, it was soon removed to Federal Court. In March of 1977, the case was remanded to the Superior Court, State of New Jersey. During the course of the litigation in the Law Division, Superior Court, the respondent failed to comply with three separate orders to file plaintiff's brief on the question of a class action certification. The third order dated July 12, 1977, included a requirement that plaintiff's attorney provide certain outlined discovery. In September, the defendant moved before the court for the imposition of sanctions, including dismissal of the complaint, for failure to comply with the three court orders. No papers were filed in opposition to that motion, and the complaint and counterclaim were dismissed on September 27, 1977 without prejudice, subject to reinstatement provided plaintiff paid the attorney's fees of the defendant then owed, which amounted to $4,399.50. In May of 1978, a new complaint was filed by respondent, although the required payment of counsel fees had not been made. In early February of ...