This matter coming before the Court on an order to show cause why ROBERT J. McALESHER of LEONIA should not be disbarred or otherwise disciplined for his violation of DR. 1-102(A)(5) and (6), and said ROBERT J. McALESHER having waived his appearance before the Court on the return date of the 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 further
Ordered that ROBERT J. McALESHER be disbarred and that his name be stricken from the roll of attorneys of this State, effective immediately; and it is further
Ordered that ROBERT J. McALESHER be and hereby is permanently restrained and enjoined from practicing law; and it is further
Ordered that respondent comply with all the regulations of the Disciplinary Review Board governing suspended, disbarred or resigned attorneys; and it is further
Ordered that respondent reimburse the Administrative Office of the Courts for appropriate 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 presentment filed by the District XII Ethics Committee. The Committee found that respondent had violated numerous disciplinary rules by the murder of his wife on September 2, 1977 and subsequent guilty plea to the charge of second degree murder. Disbarment was strongly recommended despite respondent's claim of mitigating circumstances.
At hearing before the District XII Ethics Committee, the following facts were established:
The respondent married in 1957. He and his wife had three children over the next five years. In the mid 1960's, both respondent and his wife developed drinking problems. Apparently respondent's alcoholism contributed to two arrests for assault and battery against his wife prior to the 1977 murder. In the fall of 1976, as a result of these arrests, he entered an alcoholism program at Bergen Pines Hospital. He participated in that program for 3 months, and thereafter both he and his wife attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. However, early in 1977, he again began to drink heavily. By August of 1977, he was drinking constantly, consuming about a quart of alcohol per day. His wife, too, was again drinking heavily. Respondent says he became paranoid, and feared everything. At the time of the murder, he says he perceived that his wife was threatening his life and he claims that he was acting in self-defense. On September 2, 1977, the date of the murder, respondent and his wife had apparently been arguing. Thereafter, while his wife sat in her automobile in their driveway, ...